Designed to create jobs
A better everyday can be achieved in many ways. That’s why we’re collaborating with different social entrepreneurs around the world. Our partnership with the Jordan River Foundation, allows us to tap into unique handicraft skills and offer one-of-a-kind products. But, the best part is that the cooperation also creates jobs and a stable income for female artisans.
Jordan, with a population of nine million people, has received nearly 700,000 refugees since 2011. It has meant social challenges that the Jordan River Foundation is working to overcome. We teamed up with them to see how we could contribute. It resulted in TILLTALANDE textile products, made by Jordanian and refugee women.
Co-creating with artisans
Paulin Machado, IKEA designer, and Faridon Abida – designer at Jordan River Foundation, worked side-by-side with the women at JRF’s production centres when creating the collection.
“It was a dynamic collaboration and we learned a lot from each other. I provided a base that Faridon and the women could put their own touch to. On the cushions with camel print, the saddles and palm trees are hand-embroidered and placed where the artisan likes it best”, says Paulin.
“The skills these women possess are amazing. If we expressed an idea out loud, the artisan would show us something 15 minutes later and ask ‘Is this what you mean?’ It was fantastic!”
Inspired by ancient stories
Jordan lies in a region filled with proud textile traditions. The woven products in the TILLTALANDE collection are inspired by Bedouins and stories passed on in generations. The collection has earthy colours reflecting the Jordan landscape, but also a modern touch with black and white.
”Weaving Bedouin rugs is a delicate art. I learned and inherited the craft from my mother. Every rug we weave is produced with passion and hard labour. It’s an ode to our heritage,” says Amneh Al Gawanmeh, artisan at one of JRF’s production centres.
Good business for a better future
The first step of the cooperation has created jobs for more than 100 women, a number that’s planned to grow to 400 before the end of 2020.
“We’re benefitting from each other’s strengths. IKEA is contributing with access to a global market place and knowledge regarding distribution and home furnishing. The artisans bring their deep knowledge and techniques in handicraft. In the next step we will together look into how we can make the work more efficient and easier for the women,” says Stina Engler, Product developer.
For us at IKEA, the cooperation means a chance to offer unique products, but also a possibility to learn more about a fascinating craft. For some of the women in Jordan, it means freedom and power to influence their everyday. In one end you gain treasured products – in the other lives are changed.