We exist to empower – and enact – change.
Our greater vision is grand, but simple. We see a future where welcoming marginalised communities into mainstream society with open arms is the norm.
At The Social Studio, our purpose is to empower new migrant and refugee youth and their wider communities to reach their full potential in the fashion industry and beyond. Championing diversity, community, education, sustainability, art, creativity and design through our ethical business practices, we provide opportunities to work and learn for talented migrant and refugee youth. At the heart of it all, we seek to support those who are most in need of a voice, mode of expression and agency.
Through supporting the artistic practice and growth of young people from diverse cultural backgrounds in fashion, textiles, design and visual arts, our model creates connections between people from different cultures by sharing knowledge, skills and stories. The end results are beautifully crafted products that showcase local design and promote sustainable and ethical fashion practices -all while supporting migrant and refugee youth to flourish in our communities.
We believe in our refugee and new migrant communities
Every Australian deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, and our strength-based approach recognises that the best way to combat the societal and systemic barriers faced by refugee and migrant communities seeking education and employment opportunities is to harness their skills, talents and interests to create pathways to success. In doing so, we’ve formed a safe place of belonging and a dynamic hub for creative development, helping our new neighbours build professional and social networks in the process.
Our impact so far
Here are some important facts and figures highlighting our collective achievements so far.
In our more than ten years of existence, we’ve had:
- 1,480+ incredible humans involved with The Social Studio enterprise
- 780+ students through our formal TAFE training & employment programs
- a 96% retention and completion rate (of formal students), with 89% transitioning into ongoing employment or higher education.
- 80% of our employees, interns, work experience students and volunteers joining us from refugee and new migrant backgrounds
We care about the future of Australia and Planet Earth, too. We show this by:
- Utilising up-cycled fabric that would otherwise go to landfill, saving more than 20 tonnes of fabric and textile waste since 2009
- Focusing on well-made, trans-seasonal garments that stand the test of time
We support our neighbours through:
- Helping incubate similar social enterprises, like The Social Outfit (Sydney) and Twich Women’s Sewing Cooperative (Dandenong)
- Providing start-up advice to upcoming industry entrepreneurs, such as Kontiki Fashions, No Sweat Fashions (Canberra), The Global Studio (Latrobe Valley), and Scarf Hospitality
- Stocking emerging and value-aligned labels in our retail shop
- Collaborating with hundreds of established and emerging designers, artists and events, including Atong Atem, Ken Done, Linda Jackson, and Stanislava Pinchuk, MPavilion, Peel Street, VAMFF, MFW, Romance Was Born, Evi-O.
The Social Studio actively lends a helping hand to a number of industry research reports, case studies, independent program evaluations and action-research projects. Information about all of our efforts is available for free to the public. Read, download, and share our reports here.