Migrants in Amsterdam work at a repair centre that saves clothes from waste. The centre offers training and support to workers and aims to open more sites in the UK.

T he United Repair Centre, supported by the city government and Patagonia, is a for-profit social enterprise in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It employs around 20 full-time workers, all economic migrants or refugees, to repair damaged clothing that would otherwise be discarded.

Ramzi, a Palestinian refugee, is one of the workers. Previously a tailor in Syria, he now repairs various types of clothing and finds the work interesting. The job provides him with income to support his family.

The centre also offers on-the-job training and will soon launch a certified training course in partnership with a local technical college. The centre not only provides employment but also assists workers with settling into their new country. Fadi, a Syrian refugee, oversees the production of upcycled jeans and denim jackets for C&A.


Enjoy unlimited access now.

To get full access to this article,
simply become a member of PUBLIC SQUARE now.
By doing so, you will be supporting
our independent journalism.


£3/month ∙ £5/month ∙ £7/month

You can cancel anytime.


Already a member? Sign in here!


✅ Read exclusive member-only articles
✅ Read our daily review of the UK front pages
✅ Receive every new article by email
✅ Access all our articles
✅ Join the conversation: Comment our articles
✅ Access our archives
✅ More importantly: Support independent journalism and keep the magazine going

Written by: