Working with fabric

Bags full of care

This is a story of love – love for fashion, but mostly love for people. And it starts with a simple, but wonderful idea.

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak has affected many of us – some have seen their workload heavily reduced and others found themselves challenged by other unexpected problems.

So, we thought: what if we could start up an initiative that could generate jobs, and at the same time, collect profit and donate it to businesses struggling to go forward?

That’s when we bought a few yards of beautiful fabric from IKEA and designed a tote bag that could be easily sewn with it.

We then contacted Yalla Trappan, an organisation we knew was looking for new projects to fill in their working hours. They come with a unique concept that revolves around solidarity and innovation – their goal is to create jobs and increase financial independence for foreign-born women who are far from the labour market. Among other things, Yalla Trappan offers a sewing service for customers of the IKEA store in Malmö and other Swedish cities.

Perfect: we had the idea, the raw materials and skilled hands that could create our tote bags. The only thing left was to find out how to distribute and sell them – and that’s where we could support.

Ingka Centres, our corporate company, manages and runs 45 meeting places around the world, seven of which are located in Sweden. All our meeting places always come with an IKEA store, which makes us save time and costs as we can distribute our tote bags from Malmö to the different locations while transporting other products.

Our tote bags were finally ready to come to life.

Today, you can find them in Avion in Umeå, Birsta City in Sundsvall, Erikslund in Västerås, Kungens Kurva in Stockholm and I-huset in Linköping. They’re sold at the local info-desk, in selected stores within the meeting place or at a stand.

And it doesn’t end here. You can enjoy a one-of-a-kind handsewn tote bag, produced with end-of-line textiles by a Swedish social entrepreneur, while 100% of the profit goes directly to relevant local organisations that are currently in extra need because of the consequences of the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

So, what’s the moral of it all? The moral of this story is that it doesn’t take much to do an act of solidarity from which many can benefit, sometimes it can be as simple as buying a tote bag.

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