Stories of rebirth

A Community project London, United Kingdom

One of the most powerful symbols of homelessness: clothing is re-interpreted. An event of Fashion, photography and storytelling.

They did it!

On 27th Aug 2015 we successfully raised


of £6,000 target

22 backers


28 days

Project owner

A project where clothing, one of the most powerful symbols of homelessness, is re-interpreted. Fashion designers will upcycle clothing once worn by homeless people. This clothes are going to be showcased in the event, and auctioned. All funds raised in the auction will be destined to Pathway, so more homeless people can get back on their feet.


The situation

Most of the UK’s 185,000 homeless are just ordinary people like you and me. Often due to circumstances beyond their control, like broken relationships or abuse, one day they find they are homeless. Their only possessions are their clothes, which become their shelter.

Unfortunately, a great many homeless people find that they’re unable to get the medical help they need. Pathway was set up to improve the level of healthcare that homeless people receive and make sure the NHS plays its part in helping them get back on their feet again. When a homeless person is admitted to a hospital that has a specialist Pathway team, they get help talking to the medical teams, receive clean clothes, and gain intense support to set up and agree a plan with them for when they leave hospital. For the most needy patients, Pathway teams continue this support after they have left hospital, encouraging them to engage with services and make the most of the help that is out there – to stay on a new pathway. The benefits of this are huge, relieving strain on the NHS and other public services by helping more homeless people in crisis get the right medical support and begin a new chapter in life.


The Stories of Rebirth

We are presenting a project to raise awareness and funding for Pathway. To do this, we’ll work around one of the most powerful symbols of homelessness: Clothing. Their clothes bear the brunt of everything they are exposed to. Every day dealing with physically harsh conditions that lead to a multitude of health problems.

Everyone who has lived on the streets has a story to tell. So, seven individuals who have experienced the burden of homelessness are working with fashion designers from leading labels to transform their own clothes once worn on the streets into a bespoke fashion piece that will retain and tell the unique life story of the previous owner. A story of rebirth.


How will this help Pathway?

The redesigned pieces will be unveiled at the ‘Stories of Rebirth’ event. This will be an invitation-only event to build awareness and spread the word far and wide through fashion, photography and storytelling. It will take place at the Geffrye Museum of London on September 1st 2015.

Portraits of the individuals taken by Charlie Clift, their stories told in first person, their experiences on video; and of course, the up-cycled garments created by the fashion designers will be showcased for the very first time at the event.

The event will also be the launch platform for our online auction – the chance to own one of seven bespoke, designer pieces that have real meaning. Only seven exist. It’s a very special thing.


How will the money be used?

The auction will raise money to help Pathway to keep doing great work. All the people involved in this process – the seven individuals, creatives, designers, PR, photographer, managers, etc. – are working completely pro bono, but the event itself costs money. We need your help to cover our costs and become part of the story that changes people’s lives.

The event will be promoted to high-value bidders, and we hope to get traction through press and social media. The aim is to raise as much money as possible with the auction so Pathway can continue and expand its work, making a real difference to individuals and society as a whole.

Please help to make the ‘Stories of Rebirth’ event happen, and in doing so give the UK’s homeless population a chance to be reborn.


The process

The seven individuals and their designers are getting to know each other. This is a collaborative process, where designers will show their point of view in contemporary fashion using their styles and experience to transform the old pieces of clothing into new “reborn” pieces of design that tell the story of its original owner. Everybody can share the message, and see that underneath the clothing and the hard life that they’ve been forced to live on the streets, there are human stories to be told.

Meanwhile, the seven individuals will also be working with a photographer to capture their images. We will create powerful, storytelling portraiture and video to reinforce the personal impact of homelessness and sleeping rough.


The designers

  • Carla Knight Menswear Designer at Vivienne Westwood

  • Elena Mojarova Junior Menswear Designer at Vivienne Westwood

  • Sia Dimitriadi Designer at Sia Dimitriadi

  • Gabriella Massey and Melissa Thompson Co-Founders at Atelier bâba

  • Careena Gharu London College of Fashion graduate

  • Natalie Saunders London College of Fashion graduate in collaboration with Illustrated People

  • Anonymous Designer Leading British fashion brand


The photographer: Charlie Clift




Charlie’s first word was “duck”. Hard as it is to imagine, it has only been more exciting since then. He has dangled CEOs upside down, got shouted at by political leaders, waded up to his chest in floodwaters, smeared paint on art dealers’ faces and poured pints for dogs. All of it has resulted in some great photographs. His drive is to tell personal stories in an intimate and unique way. He regularly works with a number of editorial and commercial clients, including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Independent, Samsung, Tatler, Allianz Insurance, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Crew Clothing and others. He is also a supporter of many charitable causes and has worked on campaigns for Action for Children and Help for Heroes, to name just a few.

To keep things fresh and exciting Charlie cannot stop shooting personal work. From attempting to show what it feels like to talk with passionate people to a collective portrait of British emigrants, the projects help Charlie experiment with different ways of making images and telling stories. His personal work has been published widely and you may have seen it on the BBC News website, It’s Nice That, and Professional Photographer magazine among others.



The venue – The Geffrye Museum



Founded in 1914, the Geffrye Museum is a museum specialising in the history of the English domestic interior. Named after Sir Robert Geffrye, a former Lord Mayor of London and Master of the Ironmongers' Company, it is located on Kingsland Road in Shoreditch, London. The main body of the museum is housed in the Grade I-listed almshouses of the Ironmongers' Company, built in 1714 thanks to a bequest by Geffrye. The museum was extended in 1998 with an innovative yet architecturally sympathetic new wing designed by Branson Coates Architects.

The museum shows the changing style of the English domestic interior in a series of eleven displayed period rooms from 1600 to the present day. The emphasis is on the furnishings, pictures, and ornaments of the urban middle classes of London.

The museum is currently running an exhibition showing the impact of homelessness in London in the last century, making it the perfect venue for this event.



The original clothing

These are the original clothes donated by the 7 ex-homeless people

The budget

Our fundraising needs to cover the following costs for holding the event:

  • Venue hire
  • Catering
  • Printing
  • Courier costs
  • Production and delivery of rewards
  • Equipment hire
  • Photography studio
  • Travel and subsistence
  • Auction fees
  • Crowdfunder fees
  • Web hosting

What do we need?

We need to raise £6,000 to hold the event. We promise that all funds collected, including anything beyond our target, will go towards helping Pathway continue to do great work.


About us...

Pathway Website:

Stories of Rebirth Website:

Hashtag: #storiesofrebirth