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Getting to know: the InsideOut Project

People sit across from one another over a table, designing something on paper.
6 Mar 2023

Learn about the UK's first clothing brand created, designed and hand produced by young ex-offenders, stocked here at the Barbican.

Created by ex-BBC-journalist Greg Mckenzie as a response to the lack of opportunities for young people leaving prison to reintegrate into society, the InsideOut Project (IOP) is the UK’s first clothing label created and designed by young ex-offenders some of whom have just left jail.

Individuals are teamed with an army of fashion and business mentors to embark on a 4-week training course to learn the skills needed to design, market, and sell a streetwear brand. The young people get free reign to design images which reflect their journeys and once complete, then sell their items at a purpose-built pop-up shop at Westfield Stratford. Each is paid a London living wage and given employment with the IOP.

“I wanted to do something hands on and create real change for these young people. Give them a second chance in life.” (GM)

After a successful 2022 – all 10 young people who took part have not gone on to re-offend – the team continue to expand and plan to open shops all over the UK over the next year.

You can find some special IOP products in our shop here at the Barbican.

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