Catherine Hunter


My dissertation is not currently available online, out of respect to the refugees featured, therefore this site has been created in order to give a brief summary of the subjects undertaken.

This study is written as part of an MA in Sustainable Design and is an anthropological study of refugees conducted after field studies on the French-Italian (Ventimiglia) border, working with an ONG in Greece (Ioannina), and an unaccompanied minors centre in France (Nice).

It has led to a brief analysis of the textile industry, with a focus upon the effectiveness of humanitarian response with regards to clothing donations and distribution.



What are clothes, why, what is their cultural significance, identity, history?  

 Lifecycle: Do we exchange them, give them away, what, why, when?   

 Case Studies         Waste, Innovation, Traceability, Material Selection



Glossary & Acronyms             

A Brief Overview:

Who are they?

What is the refugee crisis? What is a refugee camp?


Sustainable Design

What is Sustainable Design and how can it play a role?



Ioannina, Greece


Sorting and distributing clothing donations


Ventimiglia, Italy

Under the bridge,

Solo visits


Nice, France

Unaccompanied Minors Centre


Humanitarian aid does not always match the needs of the field, nor is it always adapted to the culture it is catering for. Refugee camps are created as temporary solutions but the average stay on a camp is around twelve years. The textile industry is the second most polluting industry, second only to oil.

We live in a world of textile over-consumption and mass migration, how then can our discarded items be put to optimal use? One interpretation of this ecosystem could be that the:

Textile industry = Climate change = Refugees. 

How do we harmonize this ecosystem and find sustainable long term solutions?

Is giving away clothes more of a cultural conundrum than we think?

Dissertation Format


Inspired by textile samples, I designed my dissertation so that each one was different with hand-sewn labels.

Each refugee is unique and has their own story to tell, as do textiles. They both have their particular qualities too, unique to them.

I recycled textile samples which would otherwise have been thrown out and used old boarding school name tapes, for the covers. In terms of graphic identity; I used Orange (the colour of life jackets), and Blue (the colour of the sea and a symbolic colour in Greece where my journey begun.)

As previously mentioned an online (public) version of my dissertation is not currently available out of respect for those featured. I did a print run of 18 copies for myself and my University.

I was awarded the 'Best Dissertation.'

2018 12 Addressing Refugees sewing detai
2018 AdDressing Refugees .JPG
Next Phase

This was the 'Project Phase' of my MA. I decided to continue working on the topics covered in my dissertation.

'Added' a clothing brand made by and with refugees; promoting and sharing their skills and culture.

Integration through textiles. 

For further information, please contact me via email. Thank you.


Sustainable, Ethical Fashion With Dignity