What's not to love about winter? Sitting in front of a fireplace, all tucked in under a blanket, sipping cinnamon flavored tea. But not all of us are that fortunate. For those without shelter, winter can be the toughest time of the year.
Now, two Dutch friends, Bas Timmer and Alexander de Groot, are on a mission to help homeless people endure extreme weather conditions by providing them with "Sheltersuits."
"What on earth is a Sheltersuit," you must be thinking?
Let us explain.
The concept of a Scheltersuit is pretty simple. It's a wind and water resistant jacket, which can actually be transformed into a full-body sleeping bag. Because of the insulating materials it's made of, it assures the warmth of a person wearing it, even during extremely cold weather.
"The father of two of our friends died of hypothermia in the streets of our city in 2013," Groot told A Plus. "[Following the tragic event,] Bas asked me if we could make free clothing for the homeless. I said yes, of course."
And this is how the idea for Sheltersuits was born.
But the two founders are not the only ones involved with the project. They are producing the garment with the help of both local volunteers and Syrian refugees.
"The Sheltersuit is a tough and thick suit, made of strong quality textiles, that also has to be manufactured at high standards," Groot explained to A Plus. "Because of this, we had to find people with experience. Sewing machines are more commonly used in daily Syrian life than it is here in Europe. So it was a natural mix, we all speak the common language of the sewing machine. We like working with the guys, we learn from them and they from us."
This is how the factory looks:
120 homeless people in the Netherlands already own a Sheltersuit, but the guys behind the project are hoping to give away as many as 1,000 garments this winter.
You can support the project by donating on the Sheltersuit's website or sending over your old sleeping bag.
Let's make winters bearable for all of us.