Refugee Projects

Social Sewing Class
Social Fabric Association has been working with refugees in Zürich since June, 2015. We offer a drop in sewing class for refugees every Thursday morning from 9.30 – 12.00 (except in July and December, when we are closed). Participants can learn how to make clothes and accessories using donated fabrics with the help of volunteers and the Social Fabric team.

Social Fabric will provide from August 2018 on the possibility to do an apprenticeship in sewing. Working at Social Fabric means to do varied activities in the field of sewing in an exciting, intercultural and warm atmosphere. The apprenticeship is ideally for somebody with refugee background him-/herself. If you are interested in the apprenticeship, you can find more information under this link.

Volunteering at Social Fabric
We couldn’t run our refugee activities without the help of volunteers. Volunteering gives you a great opportunity to get to know new people, learn new skills and do something valuable. For volunteers who make a weekly commitment, we offer our membership for free during the volunteer period. We need volunteers for our weekly Thursday morning sewing workshops; volunteers for this activity should have good basic sewing knowledge, good German skills and be ready to commit weekly for at least 4 months. On Friday afternoons (from 2pm to 4pm) we offer a Sprachencafé and for that we are looking for native German speakers to volunteer. In future we might expand the selection of the refugee activities to other days of the week and sometimes we have one time events when volunteers are also welcome. If you are interested in volunteering, or would like to know more about it, please contact Helka: .

Project ReThread
We also sell a number of items that we designed together with refugees, in order to help us finance our project. Visit to buy a refugee designed t-shirt. 20% of the proceeds from each sale with go to the refugee designer, or to a non-profit organisation of their choice (depending on their permit status). We also offer rucksacks and cosmetic cases that are made in Zürich by the participants of our project.

Besides providing opportunities for intercultural exchange, the project aims to involve participants in the process of product development and design, market testing, and business development. Learning these skills gives participants  basic knowledge about developing a business idea and starting a business. We also aim to build a network together with the people who participate in our workshops, in order to give them better chances of finding jobs and building lives here in Switzerland.

More than 80 refugees have participated in our workshops since we started, and in 2016, we launched a new phase of our pilot project. We are collaborating with the organization AOZ to offer integration opportunities (see GEP Programm) for refugees at Social Fabric. Additionally, in September, 2016, we ran a crowdfunding campaign in order to collect customer orders and raise a salary, for Cisse, one of our participants who is a tailor from Ivory Coast. Read more about this campaign here.

Do you want to support our project with refugees?

Make donations to:

IBAN CH39 0839 0034 1225 1010 6

Social Fabric Association
Eichstrasse 29
8045 Zürich

or donate using Paypal:


Social Fabric Association – Annual Report 2016


Impressions of Project ReThread