Nicole v. Alvensleben
Stitch by Stitch – Step by Step
Social Impact Lab
We are creating a bespoke tailoring workshop that works together with refugee women, who are trained seamstresses. These women bring traditional and very valuable techniques with them. In the combination of modern design with these unique techniques we see a chance of true integration while learning from each other and working together. Building the case and setting up a prototype is the first step. We want than replicate this model across Germany through training materials and workshops.
Frankfurt and Germany
We are enabling refugee women to become quickly (after 3 months) a viable part of society through their craftsmanship, while integrating them into bespoke tailoring workshops. Linguistic barriers are overcome quickly, because the art of sewing is a global language. By providing a trusted space for women, where they can meet German designers and other refugees, we are aiming to create true integration. Further building a platform to foster friendships and working relationships among females.
We are aiming to establish and replicate a prototype for true collaboration and integration. Building longterm relationships between designers and refugees. On a personal level - the integrated refugee has learned to speak german in a work and training setting, their self-confidence has raised by creating and designing their own products. On a macro level refugees will be recognized as a valuable contribution to our society - perception has changed. Achieving this by implementing many workshops.
Feb-now: we work officially already with 2 refugee women (seamstresses) and are sheltered by another NGO tailoring workshop. By 6/2016: finding and renting our own and bigger workshop space, purchasing industrial sewing machines and equipment; working together; using social media, press and TV to talk about the skills of refugees and the collaboration between the designers. By 8/2016: offering our first educational and training events for seamstresses and designers, fostering exchange among all. 12/2016: working with a staff of 10-25. Creating the first products to get offered at a real marketplace. Having build the case and be ready to roll it out to the first cities. By 3/2017 project at other cities implemented and having created our own training material (e.g. books, videos, etc)
In the center of our project are refugee women, who are skilled and prospective seamstresses. We will provide a working and collaboration set up with german, female designers and see here a true chance of integration, while meeting and learning from the culture and craftsmanship of each other. Furthermore we want to function as a role model through our own independence as working women, and by empowering them in building and securing their livelihood here in Germany.
Combining craftsmanship and modern design: Made in Germany - inspired by (e.g.)Syria. Not only are we bringing the production of fashion and design items (e.g. clothes, bags) back to Germany, we are also aiming to utilize the skills, techniques (traditional stitching methods) and designs from professional seamstress, who fled from their home countries to Germany. We are fostering a collaboration between seamstress and designers on a level playing field, and replicate this model to other places.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
rent & office expenses approx. 12000 EUR, tailoring workshop equipment 18.000 EUR, public relations and promotional materials 3000 EUR, training and workshop events approx. 8000 EUR, creating educational material (e.g. book, video and tutorial in arabic/english/german approx. 9000 EUR (incl. translation, printing, etc.)
We are very interested in an exchange with other initiatives, which we have been not yet come across and like to learn about innovative concepts around Europe correlating to our idea - following the networking motto ‘the more the merrier.”