You might have noticed we don't tend to shy away from political issues; rather that we use them as inspiration for our designs. During the weeks of running our Chelsea pop up shop, we decided to tackle something that we felt needed talking about.
The refugee crisis is something massive that can't be ignored. We feel it's being handled somewhat questionably, with some pretty terrible and frankly xenophobic comments issued by the media and our British government. David Cameron is famously reported to have referred to the large numbers of refugees fleeing for their lives rather derogatively as "swarms", and said outright that Britain will be "no safe haven" for these people, who are facing such horrific situations.
We decided to communicate a message that challenges Cameron's response. When peoples' lives are at stake, with children drowning in the Mediterranean as they flee their homes, how can we turn a blind eye?
Our Anchor T-shirt design is a symbol of hope. The anchor represents safety; a "safe haven" even. It speaks of the bravery of the many who have journeyed across the sea to find safety here in Europe, and acts as a poignant reminder of those who didn't make it.
With a nod to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom and welcome to thousands of refugees arriving at Ellis Island, we incorporated a lantern in our design. Our heart behind the design echoes the sentiments of this poem, describing the Statue of Liberty and all she stands for:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
- Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus"
We designed the print, and cut it out to make a stencil. We cut fabric and made a bunch of t-shirts in the shop window on our vintage machine, and printed them downstairs in the shop basement using traditional screen printing methods with the stencil.
We have a small number of pieces left, so if you'd like to get your hands on one of these very limited edition pieces, do take a look in our online store.