Bas Timmer / Netherlands
Homelessness is a massive and complex social issue, affecting people all over the globe. Through underlying concerns such as a lack of affordable housing, lack of access to mental health services or lack of addiction recovery programs, people find themselves on the street and very rarely by choice. Dutch designer Bas Timmer recognised a problem with keeping warm on the streets, and provided a great solution – to take leftover tents from festival sites and turn them into fully insulated jackets for the homeless. The Sheltersuit provides full protection from the elements with a top and bottom half, which has been carefully considered to meet the requirements of those in need. Inspired by a friend’s father dying on the streets, makes the project very personal for the designer. Materials which would otherwise be thrown away are being used is a remarkable example of recycling. If that wasn’t enough, the Sheltersuits are sewn with the help of professional tailors whom also happen to be Syrian refugees. They can participate in Sheltersuits in exchange for help with housing and assimilation classes.
Over 2,500 Sheltersuits have already been distributed for free throughout the Netherlands to help those in need.