Citydwellers is a non-profit social enterprise in the field of fashion and interior design. The organization started out in 2013 by Jacqueline Starmans and Anke Blumenberg, based on environmental and social concerns. The start-up idea was to make goods from out-of-use banners which have been on the surface of Eindhoven, with the help of people who have difficulties entering the job market.

Over years, Citydwellers has become an on-the-job training centre and has extended its network which now collaborates with many artists, educational institutions and socio-economists. The organization has now two sections, The Studio and Cornerstore, under one roof in Heuvelgalerie Eindhoven. Creation happens in the Studio; where their own clothing line, orders, and also social projects in collaboration with other social firms are created. Some products of The Studio, alongside the creations of artists who help Citydwellers out in their own possible way, are displayed for sale in Cornerstore. Various workshops and events are also held at their inspirational location.

Citydwellers has “reduce, reuse, recycle” as its motto. This is incorporated in all business related actions taken; the store is set up, based on more than 95% reused materials. The production line uses only second-hand sewing machines. More than 75% of the raw materials are reused/recycled or unused materials that are otherwise thrown away. On few occasions when new material is being bought, they are chosen eco-friendly as far as possible. In order to reduce waste, products are of such high quality that they are long-lasting. To make the lifetime of a product even longer, clients are offered a repair system. Unused materials are given away as much as possible. Citydwellers is connected to a network of artists who are interested in the production-line wastes. A precise waste-separation is done for all the obsolete materials.

Goody-bags made from banners for Woonbedrijf

Corporate social responsibility is well taken care of in Citydwellers. People who are in a re-integration program are taken in with the aim to enhance their social and work skills. Citydwellers also plays a role in education by taking in interns from fashion, retail and business management and co-operating with teachers in cases of students who need specific attention.

To give the above-mentioned information to the customers short and sweet, Citydwellers’s sustainable development consultant has designed a “sustainability label” for the products. (See main picture). So all sustainable actions taken in that specific production will be recognisable at first sight.

You can find the Citydwellers in the Heuvelgalerie in Eindhoven.

Written for Eindhoven News by Anahita

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