Probably no one thought that lamps made of old donated jeans would be adorning the offices of the prestigious advertising firm Forsman & Bodenfors. And perhaps not the least Maria Zeilon, textile designer, and Lill O. Sjöberg, MFA designer, who together are SKRYTA [slow design]. Their shared interest in innovation and crafts has led them on a sustainability journey that they don't really know where will end. But they know where it starts.
"We were asked to participate in a regional project in 2013–14, where waste material from the Red Cross's operations would be put to use," says Lill. "When asked, we both wanted this to be something that could be repeated, that would not just be a one-off event. Textiles are the material most donated and that are not always sold. We chose jeans to start with, and began experimenting with different patchworks with the fabric. We finally decided on denim seams, which we tried various ways braid, and from these tests, the first lamp shades emerged."
"In connection with this, we received an offer to work with the Swedish Prison and Probation Service in Borås, and we really wanted to give it a try," says Lill. "We were given access to a textile hall at the prison with a number of inmates. We established very good contact and succeeded with our project. We think it was because we turned things around and asked, 'what are they capable of doing?' instead of presenting something and saying 'can you sew this?' Our idea was well suited to the purpose of the whole project. The lamp was easy to make, they were had to work together and learn new techniques."
In each lamp there is a leather tag with a number so that you can see who made the lamp. From the start, SKRYTA was strict about the participants signing their lamps, so that they could feel pride and a sense of participation in what they had done.