A Fashion Designer Transforms Deadstock Textiles and Upcycled Sleeping Bags Into Wearable Life-Saving Shelters
While producing a line of luxury outerwear, Dutch fashion designer Bas Timmer learned that the homeless father of two of his friends had passed away from hypothermia while waiting in front of a shelter that was at capacity. The news jolted Timmer into action: Using an old tent and sleeping bag, he stitched together a jacket that zipped onto a cocoon-like bottom, took it to a local shelter, and offered it to a man sitting outside. The man’s grateful reaction to the garment led Timmer to make more of the outfits, which he dubbed Sheltersuits, and in 2014, to found the Sheltersuit Foundation as a means of producing the pieces on a larger scale. Since then, the organization has given away more than 12,500 Sheltersuits to people experiencing homelessness in Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and the United States.