2017’s Better Lives Lectures series kicked off with a talk on the theme of ‘Society’ led by Professor Helen Storey. Helen was joined by Liz McLafferty from the International Partnerships and Development team, and Loukia Constantinou from the Communications team at LCF, to talk about their experiences at Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan last year.

“These are the experiences that make you question the purpose of your life” – Helen Storey

In June 2016 the UNHCR announced that there were 65.3 million people displaced from their homes and on the move to find a better life, making 1 in every 113 people on our planet either a refugee, displaced person, or a migrant. Against this backdrop, the average time for resettlement of refugees is 26 years, making conditions for what life and living means in refugee camps a uniquely challenging experience. With the impact of climate change adding to the right to flee from persecution, or war, the situation is set to increase and people on the move, is our future. A new kind of reciprocity is required and in all of this, women and young girls have a huge part to play

The discussion shared the ways in which we are experiencing this new kind of society and the effect of what the refugees have to teach us about our evolution is having. Helen spoke about how her Dress For Our Time project began and the ongoing work that LCF is doing with the UNHCR at Za’atari Refugee Camp. Loukia spoke about how she felt before and after visiting the camp, and discussed ways in which we can communicate and give a platform to what’s happening there.  Liz spoke about the certified make-up courses we are running at the camp, how they came about and how they are progressing. The event also gave the audience an informal chance to engage with the speakers, sharing views, questions and experiences.

As part of the ongoing projects taking place with UNHCR & Za’atari Refugee Camp, we also asked the audience to support this, by being part of a make-up amnesty and donations were given in abundance.

Centre for Sustainable Fashion work explores vital elements of Better Lives, London College of Fashion’s commitment to using fashion to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. As part of this initiative CSF hosts the 2017 Better Lives Lecture Series, focusing on 3 interrelated themes; Society, Nature and Power.