Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!COLLECTION OF COMPETITIVE HIGH-QUALITY LEATHER GOODS
Vivienne Westwood said: “It’s quite incredible to think that we might change the world through fashion”: with our project, we aim at taking part to this challenge!
The artisans of the Italian social enterprise “Cartiera” are working together with SwIdeas, a Sweden entrepreneurial multi-cultural organization designers: they will combine creativity and sustainability to create something new and different. The project staff is using fabrics realized by artisans in marginalised communities (in the framework of the UN programme Ethical Fashion Initiative), as well as re-used high quality leathers in order to obtain an unique product.
Our inspiration is the change of perspective about sustainability, migration, environment: the change we may contribute to generate through our products.
Cartiera Società Cooperativa Sociale (Italy)
CARTIERA SOCIETÁ COOPERATIVA SOCIALE is a start-up cooperative, which produces and sells handmade accessories and gadgets. Its products bring together Italian craft traditions, high quality leather goods and African fabrics. Cartiera has been created as a spin-off to an integration and training project for asylum seekers, implemented in Italy thanks to the cooperation between Lai-momo cooperative and UN’s Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI).
SWIdeas AB (Sweden)
SWIdeas AB is an entrepreneurial multi-cultural organisation collaborating with small scale enterprises and NGOs within start-up, trade, international development, social development and advisory services.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:
The main question was “How can children develop a healthy level of body-awareness and social sensitivity in a technology-mediated life full of computers and digital devices?” Based on our research, and our own observations, children mostly interact with digital devices that allow them to play, learn, and communicate through a screen. This has many consequences creating issues in the wellbeing of the children, ranging from psychological, physical to social aspects. The solution for enhancing the wellbeing of this generation should not be neglecting the existence of digital technologies, on the contrary, finding ways to make them co-exist with the physical world which we perceive and experience through our body. By connecting the safe and comforting character of textiles with the dynamic properties of contemporary, digital technologies and can we create a balance between the screenbased and physical play?
THE CREATIVE PROCESS:
The project followed an experimental design path combining elements from soma-aesthetic approach with user-centered design methods in which the outcome took form during the co-design process by involving the user in the very early phases of idea generation through using mock-ups and semifinished prototypes to explore bodily interactions. Our prototype “Worm-e” was inspired by the findings of these co-design processes and observations on how children play and move their body.
Due to the fact that we are based in three different countries, we conducted our work remotely by using the digital communication tools to get in contact. We met frequently and remotely produced different parts of the prototype, which then put together in one place to finalize it. The collaboration was very fruitful. The prototype was not the only result of it, but we learned from each other and we enjoyed working together, which we think it would continue after this project as well. Also, we have submitted and are going to publish our shared work in two academic conferences.
In order to bring the prototype to the market we’d need to first test the features more extensively with the target group (children). For this, we want to start with smaller pilot-groups like museums, classrooms, family focus groups, etc. Based on the tests we can develop the prototype further to achieve a market standard and to explore possibilities to make it reach different target groups. It would need several iterations like this. Also, we need to make sure to comply with safety regulations for children’s toys. In parallel we should work on optimizing the technology we use in the prototype, creating our custom-made microcontroller for the project based on the final developed features. We would need to take care of the sustainable and ethical aspects of the project, materials, use, disposal. And last but not least, we’d need to find a business partner or expertise as currently we don’t have that role covered in our team.
This project was a collective work. Every piece of it was thought and designed all together. What makes this project special is that the three designers caring about the wellbeing of our children put their collective creative power into a project.