LivaCreation: Sustainable Fashion, Community and Empowering Survivors

We spoke with Copenhagen-based nonprofit LivaCreation, which makes amazing upcycled products that help women and marginalized people recovering from abuse. Learn a bit about their important work and how they got their start!

livacreation
Via LivaCreation

At the intersection of empowering survivors, creating community and sustainable fashion, you’ll find LivaCreation! It’s a nonprofit that started around Christmastime back in 2012, when founder and CEO Flora Ghosh needed donations for the marginalized women she was working with.

A participant who we’ll call Sara (not her real name) had found some cord and began to braid bracelets – something that Flora noticed, and it sparked an idea. She contacted the jewelry company Pilgrim and a collaboration was born featuring a small production of high quality accessories and interior products. And that’s how LivaCreation got its start!

LivaCreation is a small company based on social sustainability and empowerment of the participants. It is a part of LivaRehab, a rehabilitation unit benefitting people of all genders, but primarily women suffering from traumas and delayed effects from physical, psychological or sexual abuse.

LivaCreation
Via LivaCreation

LivaCreation is located in both Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark, where we make sustainable interior, accessories, and clothing products in our socioeconomic design workshops. We upcycle materials from dead stock, which we get from different collaborators. We sell the products in our own web shop, and in collaborations with other physical and online shops. We also receive specific orders from individuals and companies.

At some point Sara found herself ready to run the workshop on a daily basis as a production assistant. Now she teaches the marginalised women how to sew and do other crafts. Sara says, “It’s a huge opportunity that I got to work at Liva. I have no crafts or higher education, I ‘only’ know what I’ve taught myself. I can be there for the participants and listen to their stories.
Many of the stories they tell, I have experienced myself. It is different when you have tried it on your own body”.

Today, Sara runs LivaCreation together with a designer-in-chief and another designer located in Copenhagen and Aarhus.

livacreation
Via LivaCreation

In May we launched a T-shirt. It is designed by our participants in LivaCreation, who has drawn their own eyes. Their eyes have seen many things, among those abuse and violence. Their eyes symbolize female strength and power. ‘DU MIN SØS’ T-shirts are about sisterhood and supporting each other.

Latest our summer collection was launched. It is unique hand-printed bag collection called ‘Dream Planet’. In the printing process the participants has put their own creative stamp on them, which has come out as a series of beautiful bags. The collection also includes purses and pencil cases.

We started a production of knitting accessories and have several co-labs with the knitting designers and shops as Karen Klarbæk, Tøndering strik and Bruun Strik. We do specialized orders for them and they are selling the knitting accessories in their shops. In the autumn 2021 we have new very exiting co-labs coming up. We cannot yet reveal them, but if you follow us on Instagram we will tell much more about it soon.

We want to create a better and more sustainable future, both for vulnerable people and for the environment. Each product carries a unique story and is as far as possible, made from upcycled materials from dead stock fabrics.

We love finding new ways to use the material and see how it gets a new life, as we also see the women getting a new change in life in our studios.
Crafts and creativity can be very therapeutic and a space to be focused and mindful, in the chaotic everyday life. We see the participants grow while working here, they gain confidence and self-esteem.

It is a huge success for them to make product that is valuable and beautiful for other people, to see the product they have made is being sold to well-known shops and museums. For some of the participants, the success is getting up in the morning and go to work or eating lunch in a social area with other people. We operate in the success for the individual.

livacreation
Via LivaCreation

Our vision is to have a well-known sustainable design company that creates jobs for vulnerable people. We want to give them a stable place where they can develop, get lots of success and qualify them professionally. We want them to feel empowered. We also care a lot for the planet and see it as a matter of course to implement sustainability in everything we do.

The most important is always the participants, and the most valuable is to be witness to how it can change their life.

Sara says, “During my time at Liva, I have built self-confidence and self-esteem that I didn’t have before. I have been met with kindness, and the belief that I am capable of something and that I am valuable. It’s the dream job. I can do what I really like and what I’m good at”.


Want to support LivaCreation and the incredible women behind it? You can give them a follow over on Instagram, and make sure to check out their webshop where you’ll find tees, headbands, face masks, pillows and their signature dream tote bags! You can also learn more about LivaCreation and LivaRehab – as well as send them a contribution or become a monthly donor to help fund their important work. Thanks so much!

…and if you’re ready for more inspirational women taking charge of their destiny, we’ve got your next read here!

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