The 21st-century refugee crisis sporadically unfolding across the globe has had detrimental effects on those fleeing countries in turmoil, from the Middle East and Africa. People have fled countries such as Libya, Somalia and Syria in search of safety, but unfortunately, travelling dangerous conditions by boat and not all on board made it to safety.
Epimonia, a new and emerging fashion brand aiming to shed light on the crisis and aid in refugee resettlement.
‘Building Humanity Piece by Piece’
Epimonia is an ethical fashion brand started by Mohamed Malim, a University of St Thomas Graduate from Minnesota, featured on Star Tribune, US news and supported by the UNHCR. He is a former Somali refugee who fled Somalia at the plight on the civil war and settled in Minnesota with his family.
His vision began when he saw refugees travelling to Greece by boat. The Greek word ‘Epimoni’ translates to perseverance, which is what he saw in the refugees that were fleeing ‘They are the ones who went through a lot and I wanted to represent a brand that brings attention to the refugee crises and Epimonia aims to do this’.
His aim is to connect ‘fashion with a purpose’. The website features an eclectic orange ‘embracelet’, produced by the Dream factory in the Netherlands. It is made from life jackets worn by refugees travelling to the west. The inside is made of cognac leather inscribed with ‘building humanity’.
Also, Dream factory provides a livelihood for refugees who would like to learn a craft. This is a sustainable opportunity for refugees as, according to the Centre for Immigration Studies, refugee employment rates are below US-born employment rates. Moreover, Refugees are often subject to abuse and discrimination when entering the workforce, often ending up in low paid and low skilled jobs to earn a living.
50% of proceeds go to Epimonia’s non-profit partners. Dream refugee who help refugees progress into higher education and the International Institute of Minnesota, which helps refugees integrate into society offering citizenship classes and job training.
The brand encompasses togetherness since a synergistic approach is a way forward. The Campus ambassadors programme allows students across the world to raise money for refugees in local communities, a great way to get involved and help those most in need.
You can purchase your bracelet following the link: https://www.epimonia.com/shop/embraclet/embracelet