“The love we give away is the only one we keep” is one of the inspiring messages we found printed on fabric cards at the Dignita Store in Amsterdam. Like we mentioned in our previous post of this series, this shop is a social enterprise that sells products made by survivors of human trafficking to finance – among others – culinary training programs for them. That way, the victims have a chance to look at the future with hope thanks to the new professional opportunities they now aspire to.
The entity behind the Dignita Store is the Dutch arm of Not for Sale, an international organization that defines its goals as follows:
“To break the cycle of exploitation, Not For Sale provides survivors and at-risk communities with shelter, healthcare, and legal services, first attending to the most basic needs of individuals who have suffered extreme trauma. We are dedicated to addressing the profound and enduring effects of violence and exploitation. Only once their physical and emotional well-being is established can we begin to work together toward long-term opportunities for education and employment.”
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 →