“No Nation Fashion” brand awarded the IOM Global Innovation Award

Innovation Awards ceremony in Geneva

IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina’s “No Nation Fashion (NNF)” initiative won the IOM Global Innovation Award for Gender, Diversity & Social Inclusion! The Innovation Awards, delivered during a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland on 7 May, showcased examples of innovative new approaches, processes, partnerships, or technologies by IOM country offices to IOM peers, to inspire knowledge sharing and further innovation, as well as recognize and build upon IOM’s extensive capacity for adaptation. 

The story of “No Nation Fashion” started in the migrant reception facilities in June 2021 as a well-being initiative for migrants when, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, IOM, with support from the European Commission's Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), established sewing corners for people to meaningfully spend their time, getting the chance to improve their sewing skills. While initially the space was used to create reusable protective masks from recycled materials and to repair and adjust their own garments, migrants’ creativity naturally pushed the story further into creating unique fashion garments and accessories.

Soon after their establishment, the sewing corners rapidly grew into fashion studios. The creativity and interest of migrants combined with the dedication, enthusiasm and cultural expression of local artists and designers led to a bold, innovative idea: to create a unique fashion brand in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Based on cultural exchange, creative cooperation, and mutual learning, “No Nation Fashion” was born from the vision that human mobility can bring new opportunities to both migrants and hosting communities, and that diversity is a source of richness and inspiration.

Not only the “No Nation Fashion” initiative offers an inclusive space for migrants of all genders and ages to showcase their development path and different journeys, stories and talents, it also demonstrates their humanity and responds to their need to give back to the communities in Sarajevo and Una-Sana Cantons that welcomed them on their migration journey. NNF is destined to challenge prejudices and travel freely across the world as a symbol of hope for life and society where each individual will be recognized and accepted as an equal and beneficial member of community.

Sustainability has been another founding priority of the brand and is embedded in its vision. Throughout its various creative processes, the brand explores innovative ways to create unique and sustainable pieces reflecting the various stories they tell. In collaboration with designers and brands sharing this vision, No Nation Fashion has been using recycling and upcycling methods to transform textiles waste or outdated products into both fashionable and sustainable items.

After the first Fashion Show “The Story About Us” held in Sarajevo on 16 December, marking the 2021 International Migrants Day, the initiative continues developing across Bosnia and Herzegovina, strengthening partnerships, and exploring upskilling opportunities through partnerships with other designers, businesses and organizations.
The Innovation Award acknowledges the positive impacts of the NNF initiative on gender equality and social inclusion through fashion studios’ creative activities, workshops, and education.

Watch the winning video here: