WERELDWIJVEN AND I-DID
“The reason to get up in the morning” –
the ladies of Wereldwijven and i-did get to work for Van Jos
by Rosa van Ederen
A few years ago, I was at Amsterdam Fashion Week wearing the original Van Jos jacket. Jolanda Branderhorst approached me, “Where did you buy that jacket?” she asked.
I answered with a big smile on my face, “I didn’t buy it, my mother made it.” “Well, we’d be able to reproduce it for you!” came Jolanda’s reply and full of enthusiasm, she began to tell me about her Wereldwijven* project.
Work and Chat | Wereldwijven
Wereldwijven is the brainchild of Intermezzo Foundation for Design in Dordrecht. Four days a week, women from different cultural grounds come together to crochet, embroider and knit. The end result is, for example, the giant cushions issued under their own label or an assignment from a designer. At the same time, the ladies set about improving their knowledge of the Dutch language.
“We work and chat to each other,” Jolanda explains. “It doesn’t matter whether you can knit; a love of handicrafts binds us.” The women learn new and traditional crafting techniques and the language. The latter happens naturally because the work group contains a mixture of skilled and unskilled, educated and uneducated, employed and unemployed women.
One of the Wereldwijven ladies: “A few years ago, I went along to Wereldwijven with someone else because I wasn’t physically fit enough to work as a nurse. I like handicrafts. This project was the reason for me to get up in the morning. Coming into contact with people from difference cultures was something I found really exciting. I enjoyed helping them with their Dutch.”
Working with Wereldwijven and creating of designer products makes Jolanda intensely happy. “We’ve always helped young designers. Contributing to the start-up of a collection is fantastic. It won’t make us rich but it’s not about that. Building something together – that’s a form of wealth.”