While sketching a new winter fashion collection, Dutch designer Bas Timmer realized the treacherous reality people face living on the streets. Most of them don’t have jackets to wear on cold days. “My friend’s father, who was homeless, died due to hypothermia,” he said.
For these reasons, Timmer turned the page and began to draw a life-saving garment. His vision materialized into the Sheltersuit, an ingenious two-piece outfit designed to withstand extreme conditions.
The suit includes an insulated jacket that’s water and windproof and an attachable sleeping bag that can all be folded up into a compact backpack. Timmer uses discarded tents and scrap material, creating a product that is both sturdy and sustainable.
So far, Timmer’s Sheltersuit Foundation has provided thousands of people in the Netherlands and the overcrowded refugee camps in Lesbos with suits to weather the difficult times. The foundation has also employed refugees and homeless people to make the garment, giving them the opportunity to earn an income and start over.
The ensemble may be a short-term solution to homelessness but it has been instrumental in uplifting destitute and displaced communities. “I truly believe that if we join efforts, we can protect everybody that is forced to sleep outside,” concluded Timmer.