A Dutch charity is providing insulated suits to help keep homeless people dry and warm over winter, while simultaneously providing refugees with the opportunity to assimilate in their new home.
The Sheltersuit is the creation of designer Bas Timmer and business partner Alexander de Groot, who developed the concept following the death of a friend’s father who was sleeping rough.
The suit consists of an insulated jacket and detachable sleeping bag which joins at the waist. It is constructed from recycled camping gear, including sleeping bags and tents which are abandoned at music festivals, and is easy to transport in a compact rucksack.
The charity, which started in 2014, distributes the suits to homeless people across Europe for free, relying on donations and the tailoring of skilled refugees, many of whom have fled the ongoing crisis in Syria.
In return for their efforts, the volunteers benefit from having a form of work on their CV, and are offered aid during their assimilation into Dutch culture, including driving lessons and help finding a place to live.
Speaking to Dezeen Timmer said:
We immediately said that whatever the design will be, it would have to be warm, strong, waterproof and simple to use. With that in mind, the rest of the design was done step by step in a problem solution method.”
For instance, when we had a jacket in mind we thought about our legs still being exposed to the cold, so we looked at what types of ways people keep their legs warm outside”
What a great cause, and it is win-win for everybody involved.