Oloop is a Slovenian initiative aimed at working with women and empowering them through arts and crafts, textile creation and memories. European Design Stories talked with them and prepared this video and article.
Another very interesting project they implemented is: Revealed Hands – human and business achievements, funded by the European Social Fund and the Republic of Slovenia.
This initiative was developed by the Oloop design team in cooperation with female immigrants immigrants from former Yugoslavian republics and women with the right of asylum, and was co-created with the UP Humanitarian Charity Society from Jesenice.
In this initiative innovation came from contemporary design to mariage traditional crafts and social commitment by highlighting the problems of female immigrants and providing them with “possibilities for social integration and spiritual survival”. As result a exhibition presented including the superbly designed crocheted pillows by these women, a documentary video and photos revealing the creative process.
When I´ve discovered Oloop Design was through their project, Balkan Slippers. Another initiative aimed at empowering women with migrant background by using traditional crafts techniques such as knitting slippers.
By thinking on “how different cultures, aesthetics or temperaments could meet and co-create by using textile handcrafts as a tool, Oloop Design brought together textile designers from Slovenia and Iceland with a group of immigrant women from Western Balkan countries in order to create a collection of hand knitted slippers which was presented in the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the Grofin Culture House in Reykjavik (Iceland).” The project was supported by an EEA Grant.
Oloop Design experience is a strong example of how we can improve women´s life through traditional crafts. By offering them employment opportunities, working with them their memories and identities as well as bringing innovation and design to their creative process.