Jeans for Refugees
Updated: Jul 10
What do Oscar award-winner Joaquin Phoenix, Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan and Vogue editor and artistic director for Condé Nast, Anna Wintour, have in common? All three have contributed to Jeans for Refugees (JFR), a charity initiative of the American artist Johny Dar to raise funds for the humanitarian aid organisation International Rescue Committee.
JFR is a global fundraising initiative supporting refugees worldwide, flanked by more than 100 show business personalities including Cameron Diaz, Ryan Gosling, Emma Watson, Scarlet Johansson, Elton John, Meryl Streep and Jane Birkin.
It works like this: celebrities donate their jeans. Johny Dar paints them; the jeans are exhibited and sold to raise funds, which are donated to the International Rescue Committee. Johny Dar is known for his ahead-of-the-game fashion productions and philanthropic ventures. Jeans For Refugees is the most applauded of all.
Nowadays, our planet is witnessing the highest levels of displacement. According to the UN, 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home by conflict and persecution at the end of 2018. Among them are nearly 30 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also millions of stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
More than 100 celebrities have collaborated with JFR, and given their jeans to be hand-painted. Raising awareness through colour, creativity and innovation, JFR has inspired audiences all over the globe to collaborate to create change. Every showcasing has involved a diverse and dynamic group of individuals and organisations who dedicated their time and resources for a common cause, making each event possible.
The campaign began in 2016, and since then JFR has been showcased around the world including the catwalks of Berlin and New York fashion weeks, in Milan, Bahrain and the Saatchi Gallery in London.
Have already donated their jeans : Alicia Vikander, Anna Wintour, Benicio del Toro, Brian May, Bryan Adams, Camille, Cameron Diaz, Candice Swanepoel, Carla Bruni, Cat Stevens, Chanel Iman, Charlotte Church, Christina Ricci, Christine Tay- lor, Claudia Schiffer, David Copperfeld, Daniel Bruehl, Daniel Radcliffe, Dannii Minogue, Doutzen Kroes, Elle McPherson, Elton John, Emma Watson, Fearne Cotton, Florence Welch, Gigi Hadid, Heather Graham, Iris Berben, Isabelle Adjani, James Norton, Jane Birkin, Jessie J, Joaquin Phoenix, Jim Broadbent, Julianne Moore, Julio Iglesias, Karlie Kloss, Kate Moss, Lily Allen, Marianne Faithful, Melanie C, Minnie Driver, Meryl Streep, Naomi Campbell, Nicholas Hoult, Nina Hagen, Orlando Bloom, Ozzy Osbourne, Peaches, Pedro Almodovar, P!nk, Roger Waters, Ryan Gosling, Sadie Frost, Salma Hayek, Sarah Jessica Parker, Selah Sue, Sharon Osbourne, Sharon Stone, Sofia Coppola, Tom Waits, Tuppence Middleton, Twiggy, Usher, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, and Woody Allen.
They have no need of our help So do not tell me These haggard faces could belong to you or me Should life have dealt a different hand We need to see them for who they really are Chancers and scroungers Layabouts and loungers With bombs up their sleeves Cut-throats and thieves They are not Welcome here We should make them Go back to where they came from They cannot Share our food Share our homes Share our countries Instead let us Build a wall to keep them out It is not okay to say These are people just like us A place should only belong to those who are born there Do not be so stupid to think that The world can be looked at another way (now read from bottom to top)
Poem of Brian Bilston