Oxfam showcased a women's fashion show by entrepreneur and designer Neishaa Gharat at the London Mela to show the benefits of donating and buying clothes from Oxfam and how this helps fight poverty.
The Mela took place on Sunday, September 1st 2013 at Gunnersbury Park, London and Oxfam raised awareness of its work in South Asia.
Oxfam was the official charity sponsor for the London Mela which celebrated the culture and creativity of South Asia and last year attracted 82,000 people.
Gharat said: “My Oxfam Fashion show brought together the true spirit of bringing the vibrant community together, engaging with them and creating awareness of Oxfam's work in South Asia. Reaching out to one and all with a very powerful message of the impact of Oxfam donated clothes, recycling and re-constructing and the role of over 700 Oxfam shops here in the UK.”
The exclusive preview of the 'Neishaa Gharat for Oxfam collection' took place at the Oxfam tent, all day. The performance was supported by Neeru Bhandari at Laviva Events, with hair and make-up provided by celebrity stylist Lubna Rafiq and models being provided by TMP agency.
Oxfam showcased 56 pieces for the catwalk. All ensembles were restyled and recreated from donated Oxfam clothes and accessories. Aashni, Contemporary Indian High Fashion House, London, donated three designer outfits to the collection.
Gharat also created an art installation called The Wishing Rail where visitors played their part by tying their wishes for a better world using strips of recycled clothes. The installation will be auctioned to support Oxfam in South Asia.
In South Asia Oxfam has helped millions of people improve their means to make a living, raised awareness of issues such as education, and helped people campaign for their rights.
This year marks 40 years of Oxfam working in Pakistan, where Oxfam has – for example – provided aid to about a million people after the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake and about 2.5 million after the 2010 floods.
This is the second year of Oxfam's involvement with the Mela and last year saw the marking of the 60th anniversary of the organisation’s work in India. Oxfam is currently responding to the Uttarakhand floods with water, sanitation and shelter. In 2011 Oxfam marked its 40th year of working in Bangladesh by highlighting the millions of people helped in the country through their work to alleviate poverty and preparing for and responding to cyclones and floods.
Sarah Ireland, Oxfam's Head of Communications said: " We have been very proud to be part of the London Mela, it is very important event in the calender for London, people were really interested in the work Oxfam is doing and we have been able to recognise the amazing contribution of the South Asian community.”
The collection is available to buy online from this link: www.oxfam.org.uk/melafashion