We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest Make Works region. Just last week, Nordiska Textilakademin, Nordic Textile Academy, launched their very own Make Works in Sweden! Our first Make Works team outside the UK! We're absolutely fascinated to discover what the differences are in manufacturing between our regions.
There are few listings already available in Make Works Sweden, with more to be added in the coming months. We chatted with Alex from Nordic Textile Academy to find out more about their Make Works project.
Why is Make Works important in Sweden?
Make Works is too good of a concept not to exist here! Sweden has a similar story to the UK in that it has a long tradition of production, which has now moved abroad. It’s important for Sweden to know that people making things locally for a living are still active and very present, although they might not be the ones most vocal about it. There is a pride in their craftsmanship and we want to highlight that here too!
What made you want to run your own Make Works?
Everyone in the team is involved in or are passionate about creating things in general. Nordiska Textilakademin is working in collaboration between the Norwegian and Danish Textile industry to source and gather information from our shared knowledge of textile production. There is a need and demand for information about local industry to support every part of that production-chain, and we wanted to find or make a one-stop-shop for everything locally made. This is how we discovered Make Works and wanted to add Sweden as a Region.
What have you discovered so far about what manufacturing looks like in Sweden? What sort of fabricators can we expect to see?
A bit of everything really, and that’s the best part! As a starting point, we’ve been focused on covering textile factories, everything from the weaving of fabrics to dyeing and finishing. We got our initial funding from the Swedish trade and employers’ association for companies working in the textile and fashion industry. This also ties in with us having our background in textiles and are located in the heart of Swedish textile production, it just made sense to start there. Apart from everything in textiles, we also have inquiries from furniture manufacturers, glassblowers, and maker spaces who wants to be involved in Make Works Sweden. There are knife makers, tool makers, boat builders and ceramics manufacturers also active whom I want to contact. It’s exciting to show off and re-discover the diversity of manufacturing we have and introduce it to the rest of Sweden and Scandinavia!
What are you most looking forward to about starting the project?
It’s really exciting to show off and re-discover the diversity of manufacturing we have and introduce it to the rest of Sweden and Scandinavia! Make Works gives us a platform to put the makers in the spotlight. These are people who are involved in our daily lives without us even knowing it, by providing services most people don’t think about, and I love being involved with a platform which highlights the pride and commitment to their craft whatever it might be.
There has also been a lot of talk of collaborations between different factions and organizations here in Sweden in regard to local production and making, and I think we can do lots of good in terms of bringing these people together.
Can you tell us more about Nordiska Textilakademin?
The purpose of the academy is to offer education from the initial idea to the final product. Everything we do is related to real life projects in conjunction with the industry, and all teachers are active in the field as well. The Nordic Textile Academy/Nordiska Textilakademin have 30 years of experience in textile education and have as our main goal to make qualified vocational education available for everyone, as well as to constantly evolve with the changes and challenges of the industry.
What do you think is the future for local manufacturing?
There sure is a change in consumer behavior lately, I’m not a social scientist so don’t take my words as absolute truth. However, what we see regarding new pop-ups and start-ups it’s becoming more locally focused at least in our part of the world. And through the absolute magic of the internet there is always someone who’s into the same thing as you, this might be the optimism of my generation who grew up in that era but I’ll take it. Local sourcing makes sense from so many aspects; from a community, ecologically, and for some even an emotional standpoint. To me there is a certain feeling using an object made from materials gathered and assembled by people in your vicinity. When it comes to consumer awareness we also have a large job ahead of us, communicating the pros while also being transparent about the cons in the production cycle, and how it is all of our responsibility to make it the best-case scenario for everyone involved. Working together, collaborating, and brainstorming. There’s always something new I haven’t heard or thought about and it’s really exciting!
The Make Works Sweden team are made up of:
Alex E Melum Heino – Project Manager
Christian Lundell – CEO of Nordiska Textilakademin and Project Coordinator of Make Works Sweden
Ida Melum Heino – Filming and editing
Minna Engström Heino – Communications