WeWork Announces Introduction of Refugee-Made Products from MADE51, UN Refugee Agency Brand

Through an extension of WeWork’s partnership with UK for UNHCR, WeWork is working to bring refugee-made products from MADE51 into their spaces in the U.S., London, Paris, and more

WeWork30 Churchill Place in London, England. Photographs by WeWork

London, UK – June 21, 2022 – WeWork (NYSE: WE), a leading flexible space provider today announced they are including MADE51, a UN Refugee Agency brand that brings refugee-made products to a global market, as a WeWork decor supplier. Through this action, announced following World Refugee Day, WeWork will introduce several of MADE51’s refugee-made decor accessories into select locations in all regions in which it operates by the end of 2022 with the goal of championing opportunity and awareness through design. This action builds upon WeWork’s existing partnership with UK for UNHCR, and recent Ukraine relief efforts supporting more than 60 organizations. WeWork also provided free space across Warsaw, Stockholm, Prague, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Brussels to displaced Ukrainian businesses and nonprofit organizations.

The UN Refugee Agency recently announced that a record-breaking 100 million people worldwide are living forcibly displaced from their homes, often requiring these refugees to abandon their livelihoods and rebuild their lives. MADE51 works to empower refugees, particularly artisans, by providing them an opportunity to utilize their knowledge and craftsmanship to achieve economic independence while preserving their cultural heritage.

WeWork aims to support refugees by purchasing products through MADE51 and showcasing them in WeWork locations. Some of the pieces being introduced to WeWork locations include baskets made by Burundian refugees living in Tanzania, bowls made by internally displaced South Sudanese and cushions made by Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. With initial launches across the United States, London and Paris, WeWork will introduce several MADE51 decor accessories across all of the regions in which it operates by the end of 2022 through new building openings, refurbishments and upgrades to member spaces. This effort underscores WeWork’s dedication to making a positive impact by sourcing its spaces with purpose and designing them to represent, expand and unite its global community. WeWork also intends to inspire other companies to source refugee-made products through MADE51 and will raise awareness of the brand amongst its members.

“At WeWork, we design our spaces to reflect not only our core values as a company, but the vibrant cultures of the communities in which we live and work,” said Ebbie Wisecarver, Global Head of Design at WeWork. “We are proud to bring MADE51 products into our spaces, leveraging the ability of art and design to bring people together and illuminating the resilience and talent of refugee creators.”

 “We are excited to see MADE51 products being brought into WeWork spaces and to have WeWork showcase MADE51 as an innovative model that enables refugees to earn income through craft. WeWork’s promotion of MADE51 to their members also holds great potential – it can help bring in new corporate partners and increase the number of orders placed, thereby helping to create meaningful impact for refugees,” said Heidi Christ, Global Lead of MADE51 at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. 

This support of MADE51 is an extension of WeWork’s existing partnership with UK for UNHCR. WeWork has helped to support and scale the UK for UNHCR’s celebrations of World Refugee Day since 2018 and provided free workspace for the charity to operate since 2019. 

Emma Cherniavsky, Chief Executive of UK for UNHCR said: “It’s truly inspiring to see this innovative collaboration between WeWork and MADE51 to support refugees and internally displaced people in different parts of the world. We value our partnership with WeWork and we’re delighted to see their support of the refugee community continuing to grow with MADE51”.  

“After the 24th of February, some of our team members were forced to leave Kyiv,” said Alexander Mazurkin, Project Manager at SKL International, one of the organizations supported with space in Warsaw, Poland. “Our team members were in a difficult emotional state, and the WeWork office and its environment helped to pull us together as a team, allowing us to continue our work supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian local authorities.”

For more information about WeWork’s support for Ukraine, visit wework.com/ukraine, and to support MADE51’s efforts to build brighter futures for refugees, visit made51.org.

About WeWork

WeWork (NYSE: WE) was founded in 2010 with the vision to create environments where people and companies come together and do their best work. Since then, we’ve become one of the leading global flexible space providers committed to delivering technology-driven turnkey solutions, flexible spaces, and community experiences. For more information about WeWork, please visit us at wework.com.

About MADE51

MADE51 is a global brand created by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, which connects refugee artisans with local social enterprises to design, make and market home décor and accessories across the world. The brand has been established to help refugees achieve economic independence by making use of their valuable skills, traditions, and heritage as part of a sustainable value chain. MADE51 currently collaborates with 30 social enterprises in 23 countries. MADE51 is supported by an international network of Strategic Partners which contribute technical skills and sector expertise to help integrate refugees into the global marketplace.

About UN Refugee Agency

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. Thanks to voluntary contributions from supporters and partnerships, UNHCR teams can deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK. We build solidarity, create partnerships and raise funds across the UK to help deliver global humanitarian relief for refugees through UNHCR’s work. www.unrefugees.org.uk  

UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415).