Walking through the Red Light District in Amsterdam a few weeks ago we spotted a small and very interesting store. It was called Dignita and, after a friendly talk with the female workers there, it was clear to us that we had to write about this particular place and the great structure behind it…
We have recently interviewed Meijet Broers, the program coordinator at the “Not for Sale” foundation in the Netherlands. The goal of this organism it to bring a future of hope to those people who survived the abuse and exploitation of human trafficking.
How does the “Not For Sale” foundation work?
The foundation is composed by social enterprises like the Dignita café or the Dignita store – both of them located in Amsterdam. All the profits made by these social enterprises go to the foundation. These profits subsequently pay for the training programs offered to survivors of human trafficking. Read more →
Food, clothing, books… and a lot of surprising designs! That is what you will find at the Local Goodsweekend market in Amsterdam. Every two weeks, the passage of de Hallen throbs with life thanks to the original work of the many local artists and brands who sell their multi-coloured creations to the visitors. From handmade decoration items to modern 3D-printing techniques in the fabrication process of jewellery, the pleasant walk through the venue is a constant delight.
The spirit behind this beautiful initiative, started by the platform Packhuis de Zwijger, is well-explained in the following paragraph taken from their brochure:
“In these times where there are so many flagship stores and the world is dominated by mass production, the Local Goods Store (founded following the success of the Local Good Market) gives a new voice to young entrepreneurs. The products are made by local, independent makers, who want to share their story with you.”
Some of the brands presenting their creations on the first weekend of March in this inviting atmosphere were:
Studio Hamerhaai. One of our favourites due to their amazing robot-shaped lamps and mini-wardrobes made out of wood that had previously protected paintings during a museum renovation.
Winter in Holland. Focusses on creating exceptional fabrics, both handmade and -dyed.
Benjamin Spoth. We loved his incredible upcycled lamps made from leftover wood.
Atelier Am. Founded by Amber Rep, a young local artisan who produces porcelain products.
What are the first things that would come to your mind if you had to describe Amsterdam? Most of you might mention the canals, the many bicycles, the coffeeshops, Anne Frank, Van Gogh, beautiful little cafés and boutiques… and of course the Red Light District!
If you think about the Red Light District, certain pictures pop up in our heads – that’s for sure. The one thing you would probably never associate with the area is a concept store selling beautiful and sustainable products. But it is there! And we have found and fallen in love with it.
The name of the store,Adiuvantes, finds its origin in the Latin word “collaboration”. The owner Femke shares the same believes with a variety of brands all over the world: honest and pure products using natural resources and working in community. That is why Femke sells excactly those kind of items at Adiuvantes. Read more →
Entering the shop, Yooyama feels like crossing an invisible door to a very special museum exhibition. All the items on sale (from design pieces of furniture to small decoration articles) present a touch of uniqueness. It’s impossible not to feel the need of spending a little time observing each of them. You want to take everything home with you, that’s for sure. But there is more to it than that: you want this world of original colours and shapes to trigger your imagination. You feel a strong desire to reach out to the hidden artist within you.
“We started this project about two and a half years ago,” says Johanna Spielberg, who co-owns the store hand in hand with Volker Jöcks. “The idea was to run a store and an online shop for young artists. Each of us is a potential collector; we tend to keep things that represent good memories. So, we wanted to recreate at the store that same collection you would have at home. For that purpose we decided to work with three different actors: renowned brands, newbies (smaller companies like dassie or art & atmosphere) and young artists. All of them work sustainable, are socially engaged or implement ecological values.” Read more →