Dutch fashion designer Bas Timmer is giving the discarded tents of festival goers a fashionable face lift, but this innovative effort isn’t some sort of Project Runway challenge.
Instead, inspired by the death of a friend’s father who had been living on the street, Timmer and business partner Alexander de Groothe are transforming the tents into a dual purpose coat and sleeping bag, designed to help provide shelter for the homeless. The water- and wind-proof Sheltersuits consist of a jacket with a removable sleeping bag at the bottom that can be zipped on and off. When not being used for sleep, it can be stored in an accompanying waterproof backpack which makes the sleeping setup much more mobile.
With the help of Syrian volunteers, the duo produces the suits in Timmer’s studio in the Netherlands. Many of the volunteers are professional tailors, and in return for their work, are offered assimilation courses, driving lessons, and help in finding a place to live.
The suits are being manufactured in small quantities for now, and are distributed to the homeless for free through the Sheltersuit Foundation. The current goal is to hand out 2500 across the Netherlands, though, as the Evening Standard explains, there's currently no word on the foundation's plans to expand internationally.