Love Welcomes today announce a new partnership with legendary U2 guitarist The Edge to create and sell unique collectors-item guitar straps to help provide employment and support to refugee women.
Each guitar strap is hand sewn by refugee women and includes an orange strip of upcycled life vest worn by refugees in their perilous journey across the Mediterranean before arriving in Greece. Not only is every strap providing employment to refugee women but proceeds from each sale goes back to the refugee community. The first five-hundred straps sold will also receive a personally signed postcard from The Edge.
Launching the new Love Welcomes product in advance of World Refugee Day on June 20th The Edge said: “In difficult times, we all cling to the hope of a better future. Love Welcomes works with women and families who have been through the very worst of times, unimaginable trauma and life-changing events.”
He added “The causes of forced migration are super complex but in the end it’s a very human problem that demands a humane response. The principle ought to be “treat others as you would have them treat you”. Love Welcomes attempts to do that and I am proud to be part of their initiative to provide opportunities and employment for migrant and refugee women.”
As seen worn by The Edge in the official music video for the UEFA Euro 2020 song ‘We Are The People’, each unique strap includes the message ‘Love Welcomes’ as well as morse code stitching woven into the strap which says ‘The Edge’. Morse code is included in Love Welcomes products as a way for women to share messages through the products they create.
Abi Hewitt, CEO and Co-founder of Love Welcomes said “We are delighted to be collaborating with The Edge to create these beautiful hand-sewn Guitar Straps that help refugee women begin to stitch their lives back together. The support and dedication from The Edge makes a real and lasting difference to the lives of women seeking out a better future. Each time you buy one of the unique guitar straps, you’re supporting a refugee and her family as they begin to rebuild lives shattered by war, one stitch at a time. This is a real story of hope, how new skills and employment can bring a steady income, so a better future awaits.”
Thaura joined Love Welcomes in a camp in Greece and was trained and upskilled in sewing, weaving and embroidery. She says “I’m traumatised, I have bad thoughts, I have bad dreams, I felt like committing suicide – these were the thoughts going through my mind. But when I knew about Love Welcomes and I started looming, all of these thoughts suddenly melted. I feel very good weaving because, first, it keeps me occupied and, secondly, because it makes me stay with people. The ladies I work with, we are so happy being together. What I earn every month, it helps me a lot. I have a kid and I do take care of my son right now, before I couldn’t”.
Since each guitar strap is unique and made to order, they are available for pre-order via www.lovewelcomes.org, costing £75 / €80 / $100* – making a perfect gift for a musician friend or family member. (*please note that the $ and € final price is dependent on exchange rate).
Each product includes a unique URL where the customer can access a private web page, introducing them to the women who are making the products and other musicians who have purchased the strap, including The Edge. Together musicians can upload photos of themselves with their own strap on to the site.
The Edge said “What might seem like a simple thing, the purchase of a guitar strap or any of the beautiful, handmade products available through this initiative, is much more than that. It is an investment in the future. The future of independent, confident, skilled women who are rebuilding their lives and the lives of their families. With this guitar strap I hope to help Love Welcomes create employment for refugees but also I want to give musicians a chance to show solidarity with the victims of forced migration. Now to all you musicians out there, go buy my guitar strap!”
Love Welcomes launched in 2017 in response to the refugee crisis in Greece. Today it works in multiple locations supporting refugees in camps and those who have been resettled. It has employed and upskilled 82 refugee women and provided humanitarian support for hundreds more.
Every purchase creates jobs, which create resources, independence and confidence for refugee women. By investing in women, you are investing in families and you are investing in the refugee community.
Love Welcomes does three things:
1) Provides skills training for women currently living in the refugee camps and those who have been permanently relocated.
2) Employs refugee women in different locations to create beautiful hand-made products.
3) Provides humanitarian support for refugee communities relocated and still living in camps; including access to health and legal support, mother and baby supplies, nutritious food and support for micro businesses.
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