Makers Unite

Updated: 13/12/2017

Solution provider

Makers Unite brings together local designers and newcomers with a refugee background to design and manufacture up-cycled products using life vests recovered from Greek shores.
The social enterprise creates new opportunities for newcomers by providing a social inclusion program which is financed by the commercialisation of products made in collaboration. By providing a 'makers' program, Makers Unite aims to bridge gaps and support the social inclusion of newcomers in the European community.
Winner of the Refugee Challenge, organised by What Design Can Do in collaboration with UNHCR and Ikea Foundation, Makers Unite started at the end of 2015 with the purpose of providing a platform for social inclusion of newcomers with a refugee background in the Dutch society.
Our goal is connect newcomers to professional opportunities through a 6 weeks program ( in which help them getting more acquainted with possibilities in their field and supports the development of their professional presentation (CV, Portfolio, Video presentation). After the six weeks program we connect them to organisations in our network which include BNO, Crafts Council NL and Amsterdam Fashion Week, amongst others.
During the program participants assist in the making of different products that are commercialised to help sustaining the social business model of Makers Unite. More products can be seen here:
The social enterprise is developing quickly and recently the products developed by Makers Unite have been acquired by the Stedelijk Museum and are where exhibited in Amsterdam.
Makers Unite is now in developing full time activities in a workshop located in Amsterdam working with a team of tailor and running the social inclusion program (
At this moment we look for partnerships for the commercialisation of products, provision of opportunities for newcomers and design of new collections.
For more information, please access or send an email to

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