Dutch Designer Turns Festival Tents Into “Sheltersuits” for the Homeless

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Abandoned tents, a post-revel scourge at music festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury, could soon find new life as weather-resistant coats that convert into sleeping bags for the homeless; that is, if Dutch designer Bas Timmer has anything to do with it. Timmer and his business partner, Alexander de Groot, were spurred to create the “Sheltersuit” after a friend’s father died from hypothermia due to exposure. Together with a team of volunteers, many of them Syrian refugees who receive assimilation courses, driving lessons, and help with accommodation in exchange for their efforts, Timmer and de Groot are working out of a studio in Enchede to produce and distribute as many suits as they can before winter descends.

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Photo by Annina Romita

SHELTER ME

Timmer designed the Sheltersuit, which made an appearance at Dutch Design Week last month, for both portability and durability. The sleeping bag can be detached from the main jacket and stored in a waterproof tote, making it easy for the homeless to carry around during the day. At sundown, the sleeping bag can be reattached via zippers, allowing a more comfortable night’s rest.

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“Unfortunately thousands of people, even in the Netherlands, have to spend their days and nights on our streets,” Timer told TEDxSaxionUniversity in September. “We wanted to offer everyone the means to stay warm, dry, and safe when sleeping outside in cold climates.”

Timmer and de Groot are partnering with like-minded organizations and businesses to provide Sheltersuits at no cost to the people who need them.

The pair says they hope to distribute 2,500 across the Netherlands and another 50 in Paris this month.

+ Sheltersuit

[Via the Independent]

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