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ShelterSuit: the genius wearable homeless shelter solution to help protect the most vulnerable

4 min read

Better Society
ShelterSuit: the genius wearable homeless shelter solution to help protect the most vulnerable
Source: Facebook/ShelterSuitFoundation

The Sheltersuit is a water- and windproof hooded coat that can easily be transformed into a sleeping bag providing full-body protection.

Sheltersuits provide protection, dignity and warmth for those most at risk from exposure

Without having any refuge to turn to, people across the world constantly struggle to survive the cold and elements. The makers of Sheltersuits believe that everyone at all times deserves protection, dignity and warmth. That’s why Sheltersuits are given away for free.

Brilliantly designed Sheltersuits help protect the most vulnerable from the worst of the elements The Shelteruit is a waterproof and windproof coat which can be transformed into a sleepingbag. You simply zip the sleepingbag onto the coat and your whole body is protected against the elements.During the day the sleepingbag can be stored in the matching backpack. The suits are given to homeless people and refugees for free. Source: Facebook/BrightVibes
When Bas learned that a homeless man died from undercooling in his home town Enschede - who was the father of two of his friends - he wanted to do something positive. As Bas said

Bas Timmer, Founder and Designer of Sheltersuit When Bas learned that a homeless man died from undercooling in his home town Enschede – who was the father of two of his friends – he wanted to do something positive. As Bas said “Everyone deserves to be protected and warm”. Source: BrightVibes

The Sheltersuit is a small but effective full-body wearable life-saving shelter

Sheltersuit developed their eponymous shelter/garment as a short-term solution for a bigger problem. Although it does not solve the problem of homelessness, Sheltersuit does prevent people from the very real danger of freezing to death.

The Netherlands-based non-profit believes every single human life matters, and therefore everybody deserves a small shelter when they need one.

Every Sheltersuit consists of:

  • Big hoody and tall collar
  • Integrated scarf
  • Lightweight and warm insulation
  • Big pockets
  • Strong cuffs with windbreakers
  • Zippable sleeping-bag
  • Wind- and waterproof, breathable fabric
  • A sleeping-bag which can be transformed into a larger warm blanket
  • The Sheltersuit has an opening at the bottom designed in case the user needs to move fast

Made by the unemployed, refugees and volunteers in Sheltersuit’s own social workplace, in social terms, Sheltersuit embodies what design can do; it inspires, connects and activates people.

The materials used are donated free by partners in the garment and camping manufacturing space.

Through a unique social program in cooperation with Dutch government institutions, companies and other organisations, the Sheltersuit Factory employs displaced sewing professionals, student apprentices, volunteers and people with a disadvantage in the job-market. 

Aside from creating Sheltersuits and giving these to homeless people, the Sheltersuit Foundation helps the social integration of refugees from war-torn countries through employment, teaching the Dutch language and showing them local culture and customs.

Check out the Sheltersuit Facebook page or the Sheltersuit website for more on their work and products.

Source: Sheltersuit.com

Sheltersuit is unique in many ways. Each Sheltersuit is handmade by mainly former refugees, and each is made with unique (waste) materials.

Unique Sheltersuit is unique in many ways. Each Sheltersuit is handmade by mainly former refugees, and each is made with unique (waste) materials. Source: BrightVibes

The German Design Council officially selected Sheltersuit as a winner of the German Design Award 2018. The Sheltersuit is a high quality water-and windproof jacket, combined with an attachable zip-on sleeping bag, that provides protection and warmth in any type of weather.

Modular design allows the garment to quickly transform into full-body protection against the worst of the weather The German Design Council officially selected Sheltersuit as a winner of the German Design Award 2018. The Sheltersuit is a high quality water-and windproof jacket, combined with an attachable zip-on sleeping bag, that provides protection and warmth in any type of weather. Source: Facebook/ShelterSuitFoundation

Sponsors of Sheltersuit include:

  • 3M
  • COATS
  • Raakkracht
  • Rabobank Foundation
  • Start Foundation
  • SQUAL
  • Stichting DOEN
  • TenCate Outdoor Fabrics
  • We Love What We Do

Source: Sheltersuit.com

The head can the most exposed part of the body and therefore needs warm and dry protection. The oversized hoodie is designed to provide warmth and keeps this vital body part dry in the worst conditions.

Every detail has been thoroughly thought through for maximum protection The head can the most exposed part of the body and therefore needs warm and dry protection. The oversized hoodie is designed to provide warmth and keeps this vital body part dry in the worst conditions. Source: Facebook/SheltersuitFoundation

A social clothing factory where garments are made under ethically responsible working conditions. The expansion of the Sheltersuit organisation comes after a relocation to a new office building and larger production facility within the city of Enschede in the Netherlands.

The Dutch Sheltersuit Foundation has recently opened the Sheltersuit Factory A social clothing factory where garments are made under ethically responsible working conditions. The expansion of the Sheltersuit organisation comes after a relocation to a new office building and larger production facility within the city of Enschede in the Netherlands. Source: Sheltersuit.com

“We find a lot of dumped material at festival grounds. There we find lots of sleeping bags; and big textile companies are saving their waste products for us, like waterproof tent fabrics.” — Bas Timmer, designer of Sheltersuit

The suits are being made from waste materials “We find a lot of dumped material at festival grounds. There we find lots of sleeping bags; and big textile companies are saving their waste products for us, like waterproof tent fabrics.” — Bas Timmer, designer of Sheltersuit Source: Sheltersuit.com

Make an Impact

Help now: Donate a Sheltersuit or help with spreading the word!

Maybe all this distress and need is giving you a feeling of powerlessness. But there is a way to help. You can financially support Sheltersuit by donating one or more Sheltersuits. And you can help spread our emergency call on social media: help 3,000 people in our European backyard to survive the winter! Click this link to find out more about the ways in which you can help.