For Christmas, women at Making for Change, LCF’s fashion training and manufacturing unit within HMP Downview women’s prison, and the women weavers at San Patrignano rehabilitation community in Italy sent each other hand crafted gifts and letters.

This exchange was part of Social Responsibility at LCF’s Conscious Contemporary Tailoring project, which considers the human interactions associated with fashion manufacturing, and facilitates dialogue between students and rehabilitative making communities.

The women at Making for Change designed and made accessory pieces using high quality fabrics donated by the Zegna Foundation, the women created items including collars, cuffs, bibs, bracelets and hairbands. These were sent to San Patrignano with accompanying notes.

Images by: Ágnes Wonke-Tóth, LCC

In response, women at San Patrignano sent back silk fabric pouches, each including a hand-written letter. The pouches were made from materials donated by various Italian textile factories to the community.

One of Making for Change participant’s letters expressed how much she enjoyed creating her accessory piece:

It was a great pleasure working as groups and individually putting our skills and thoughts into practice.

With others expressing how their items were “made with love”, and how much they hope the women at San Patrignano will enjoy receiving and wearing the items.

Another woman at Making for Change wrote:

It has been an inspiration knowing I could make jewellery accessories from fabric. It is not something I could have thought about in a million years. This opportunity has given me hope to believe I could do anything after leaving here.

In a responding letter, a women from San Patrignano wrote:

You girls have done amazing work, I liked it very much! Thank you for all the time and effort you spent to make these beautiful. I wish you girls the very best in life and hope that all will be alright with you girls. Be yourself and be strong and believe in yourselves that you can do anything. You already have proof with your work.