Where we are now:
Dirty Girls, as a UK charity, is providing on the job training for refugees in London.
At the Dirty Girls studio in the Design District in London, women will be trained in bag making.
High quality fabrics left over from costume making in TV, film, theatre, opera and ballet, which would otherwise often be trashed, will be used for making bags that will eventually be sold online as a collection with the DG label.
The woman will be paid a living wage while English classes and life skill workshops will also be included.
Dirty Girls has decided to focus on lesbian refugees as they are often doubly traumatised.
They are fleeing the horrors of war-torn countries, but also escaping from being targeted to be killed, with impunity, because of their sexuality.
As women living outside of a family milieu, their life can be more isolated and with greater economic responsibilities.
So … we have a different logo and a different focus, but Dirty Girls is still an humanitarian and environmental organization focused on refugee well being and upcycling materials that may have otherwise ended up in landfill.
This is how Dirty Girls began:
Dirty Girls was initiated in 2015, pioneering the simple environmental practice of washing used materials in humanitarian aid; rather than the trashing and replacing policy of large NGOs and governmental agencies.
Dirty Girls used huge capacity industrial machines, washing to hospital standards.
60,000 people live in sub standard camps all over Greece. Washing their clothes, blankets and sleeping bags is necessary for comfort, health and dignity. Without Dirty Girls washing them, they would often be trashed and replaced.
This makes more sense environmentally and economically.
While it cost €2.50 to wash a blanket to hospital standards, it cost €8 to buy a new one.
Sending tons of material to landfill only exacerbates the climate emergency we are all suffering the effects of.
Dirty Girls saved over 60,000 tons of material from landfill and saved UNHCR millions of euros.
Dirty Girls operations are funded by donors from all over the world: people with a common compassion for other people who have become refugees, and a concern for our shared environment.