Mayor Sadiq Khan officially opens the Choose Love store in Covent Garden

Mayor Sadiq Khan cut the ribbon to officially open the Choose Love store in Covent Garden this week and was joined by Lena Headey, Nish Kumar, Deborah Frances White and supporters who queued all
morning to be its first customers.

 

First launched in 2017 Choose Love is the world’s only store that sells products and services for refugees across the world. The stores have welcomed 45,000 customers, distributed 1.6 million items for those in need.

Carey Mulligan, Emma Freud and Aisling Bea joined in as volunteer store staff to greet visitors, manning tills and helping them buy real products for refugees.
“London has a proud history of providing refuge to those seeking sanctuary and it is only right that a city as prosperous as ours offers shelter to people fleeing persecution, and in fear for their lives.
“It is incredible to see so many Londoners come out and choose love — giving a gift that matters this festive season.”
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
“The shop is incredible — I’ve walked away with a beautiful pink ‘Love Has No Borders’ t-shirt that I willwear everyday. I also got the most perfect present for my Mum who is impossible to buy for, ‘A Bundle
of Hope’ which will provide vital services to refugees including mental support, women’s support and youth education.
Carey Mulligan

The shop concept is simple: visitors buy what they want and leave with nothing, as each purchase is sent by Help Refugees to someone who truly needs it. The shop is split into three sections, each explores
a different stage of a refugee’s journey:
● “Arrival” (items include emergency blankets, warm clothing and food)
● Shelter” (items include tents, sleeping bags and hygiene packs)
● “Future” (contributions to services including child and youth education services, adult language and skills)

Prices range from £3 to £650 which allows people to ‘buy the store’.

Whether visitors are shopping for their Secret Santa, best friend or in-laws, all these items and services are gifts that really matter. Every purchase you’ll get a beautiful gift card to go under the tree while the
items you buy will be supplied to refugees around the world.

Each store is designed to create an uplifting yet meaningful retail experience- a striking space where people can learn about refugees while doing something practical to help. All images, stories and items in store come straight from the frontline of the refugee crisis, where the charity works.

Since Choose Love first opened in 2017 its stores and website equivalent have raised £3million, helping provide refugees with:
● 158,712 hot meals
● 19,000 blankets and 6,000 tents
● 8,000 insulated baby grows and 21,000 warm children’s coats
● 1,306,777 nappies
● 4,500 school bags
● 5,700 sleeping bags
● Enabled a rescue boat to spend 6 months saving lives at sea.

Josie Naughton CEO of Help Refugees says,
“Across Europe, the Middle East and on the US border Help Refugees is supporting hundreds of thousands of refugees living in camps, temporary housing and tents. Dropping temperatures are making
already hard lives nearly impossible.

By shopping in the Choose Love stores in London, New York, LA or online ordinary people are helping provide support where governments are failing. Every purchase goes towards life-changing support for
some of the world’s most vulnerable people. This holiday season we hope millions of people add a refugee to their gift list.’

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