By Nadira Begum
For the second year in a row, Help Refugees has opened their Choose Love pop-up store on Carnaby Street, London.
Following the success of last year’s store, Help Refugees has reopened their Choose Love pop-up store for the Christmas period with the aim of encouraging the public to give refugees an invaluable present this holiday season. Renaming Black Friday ‘Give Back Friday’, the store opened on the 23rd of November and asked shoppers to avoid materialistic buys and instead spend some money in store for a refugee.
The UK-based organisation works to provide humanitarian aid and advocacy for refugees across the world. Starting as a simple hashtag and a group of friends hoping to raise donations to take to the Calais Jungle in 2015, the charity quickly grew with ongoing support from high profile actors, musicians, and filmmakers.
As well as their base in Calais and Dunkirk, the charity now also works with local groups in Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Serbia, and the UK. Brandishing ‘CHOOSE LOVE’ across many of their products – a collaboration with designer Katharine Hamnett and a nod to her iconic ‘Choose Life’ print – the group encourages the public to empathise and help refugees across the world.
The store is the first of its kind and offers the unique opportunity to buy essential products for refugees. Focusing on three stages (arrival, shelter, and future), the charity hopes to tackle the struggles a refugee will face on their journey to safety with the help of the public.
Products include sanitary kits, sleeping bags, and hot food amongst many others, with 100% of the money spent in store going directly towards supporting refugees across the world. You can even make a donation towards funding search and rescue teams, as well as creating safe spaces for women and young girls.
You can also make a donation or purchase a product on behalf of someone else and receive a card with the details of that purchase – this could be the perfect Christmas gift for someone who is difficult to buy for! The store will remain open until the end of the year, so if you’re struggling for gift ideas and happen to be in London, be sure to head to 32 Foubert’s Place and check it out!