UNIQLO and UNHCR unveil ‘Hope Away from Home’ graphic shirt collection to support refugees

Featuring designs by five young artists from refugee and host communities, the shirts are available in select UNIQLO stores. Profits will aid UNHCR’s efforts to address emergencies.


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Globally 114 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution and violence. On World Refugee Day 2023, UNHCR asked young artists worldwide to reflect on the meaning of hope in the face of displacement. Around 4,000 artists answered the call and submitted drawings on the theme “Home away from Home”. Five of their designs have been brought to life by partner UNIQLO as part of a collection of graphic shirts.

Each shirt tells a story of hope, whether in the form of peace, friendship, memories, love or unity. One of the shirt designers, Asifiwe, a 14-year-old refugee from Burundi who has now resettled to the United States, said: “My friends are a source of strength and hope … We may be separate but we are together in heart, and our memories live on.” Resettlement programmes, like the one Asifiwe benefited from, provide a much needed lifeline for the most vulnerable refugees.

Describing her design, Georgette, a 14-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) living in Tanzania said: “The sky and moon symbolize protection and unity. Despite our differences, we are all under the sky and share one moon.” Over 990,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from the DRC are currently sheltered across the African continent. Escalating violence and human rights abuses in the eastern provinces of the DRC are triggering a fresh wave of displacement.

The jury judging the competition included refugees, artists and designers, and celebrities including actress and influencer, Ella Gross, who said: “Seeing all these amazing and unique drawings has inspired me and given me a fresh perspective on the true meaning of hope.”

Another member of the jury, Maya Ghazal, a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and the world’s first female Syrian refugee pilot, said: “It’s beautiful to read captions from artists being so passionate about the refugee cause, and to see such unity and compassion from around the globe.”

Graphic t-shirts have a rich history of weaving together artistic expression, personal beliefs and helping to build social movements. The shirts will be available in select UNIQLO stores across Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the UK and the US.


Afya's design.


Virag's design.


Mawardi's design.


Georgette's design.


Asifiwe's design.

“Know that by choosing to wear this t-shirt you will be a part of a broader movement to support the work that UNHCR is doing on the ground across the globe in over 135 countries to help those fleeing war, conflict and persecution. Your support matters!” said UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner, Kelly T. Clements.

The five artists behind the t-shirts are Asifiwe, a 14-year-old refugee from Burundi resettled to the US; Virag, a 28-year-old humanitarian worker from Hungary; Mawardi, a 20-year-old Ethiopian refugee in Somalia; Afya, a 14-year-old from the US; and Georgette, a 14-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Tanzania.

UNHCR and our global partner, Fast Retailing (UNIQLO’s parent company), have been collaborating since 2006, through clothing assistance for refugees, self-reliance programmes, refugee employment and awareness campaigns. The shirt collection is named after UNHCR’s wider Hope Away from Home campaign, calling for urgent action and solidarity to protect refugees’ rights all over the globe.

To purchase your t-shirt in the UK, please visit UNIQLO 311 Oxford Street, or UNIQLO Covent Garden.

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