Updated: 15/04/2018

Solution provider

SOFFA – Social Fashion Factory provides integration into work and micro-entrepreneurism in sustainable fashion to survivors victims of human trafficking, refugees and unemployed people. It provides for their livelihoods through vocational training and employment. The legal entity is a social cooperative; 90% of its shareholders are refugees and unemployed Greeks.

The fashion industry is the 2nd biggest polluter to the environment after the oil industry and the 2nd cause of human trafficking after the sex industry.
21 million people are victims of forced labor around the world, of which 11,4 million are female. 45.8 million people are enslaved across the world only 1% is rescued and of them 80% get re-trafficked due to financial vulnerability. Greece on the 5th ranking in Europe. 

The biggest group in risk of being trafficked is refugees. 727, 000 immigrants are currently living in Greece with a residence permit, accounting for 7% of the population. Greece is the country of first arrival in Europe and has received 1,028,993 migrants till 2016. 

SOFFA provides for the livelihoods of refugees, migrants and survivors of human trafficking.

Our beneficiaries are offered vocational training in sewing and fashion design on a programme simulating real work conditions in Western labour markets. Trainees are empowered to create and sell their own garments and at the same time are trained to be able to find employment in any European and North American factory. Trainees that complete the programme are awarded a Certification in Fashion and are offered employment in SOFFA main production unit or in collaborating Brands.

Vocational training happens through the mobile network of SOFFA Training Production Workshops located in refugee camps and shelters of survivor women. Vocational training also takes place in our SOFFA Main Unit now located in Agora Kypseli. Training happens in real orders which are sold to our international customers. Trainees who work on real orders are being remunerated allowing for the provision of their livelihoods early on in the programme. Trainees are also empowered through a DIY approach to use waste to produce bags, accessories and t-shirts which are then sold to end consumers. SOFFA e-shop and SOFFA own collection are under development.

Our training protocol includes three levels of sewing: Textile Cutting and Assembly (Level 1), Pattern Making (Level 2), Fashion Design (Level 3). Classes take place 4 days per week, 4 hours a day for a total of 244 hours of instruction for every level.
SOFFA collaborates with 11 front line organizations for the recruiting of beneficiaries; including, Action Aid Hellas, Orange House, Caritas Hellas, Caritas Athens, Praxis, Generation 2, Ena Paidi Enas Kosmos, Metadrasi, Organization Earth, Elpida Zois, Nea Zoi.

SOFFA produces clothes, accessories and shoes from natural, man-made, vegan or recycled materials. It utilizes plant-based fabrics like tencel and PLA fabrics, recycled materials such as PET-based recycled polyester, econyl yarn, recycled cotton and other fabrics that comply with Oeko-tex standards and have been certified organic and Fair Trade. Moreover, SOFFA recycles and upcycles all its waste, turning it into clothes and accessories like shopping bags, backpacks and wallets.

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