Co-create for social inclusion
Updated: Feb 28, 2021
It all began in 2016, when a newcomer-lead initiative up-cycled 6,000 discarded life-vests into Re-Vest Life Ribbons, and took to the streets of Amsterdam on King's Day to spark conversation about the migrant crisis.
The movement has since grown into a globally recognised network of creative locals and newcomers, designing and co-creating a diversity of sustainable products. Production is lead by their in-house tailor team of newcomers with refugee backgrounds.
Since 2016, their team has also pioneered creative talent development programmes which have benefited over 175 newcomers with refugee backgrounds, 66% of which have been successfully matched to their next professional step within the Dutch creative industries.
Today, their international core team and their growing network of creative newcomers work side-by-side to co-create sustainable clothing and merchandise for companies who recognise their unique approach in using creativity as a means of empowerment.
By using residual materials and being completely transparent about the production, each item tells a unique story. In this way Makers Unite produces for well known national and international companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Arriva, Unilever, LUSH and Dutch fashion brands Filling Pieces and ByBorre.
Makers Unite was the first case piloting our Integrated Capital Lab
Makers Unite was the first case that volunteered as a case piloting our Integrated Capital Lab (ICL) in 2018. It was of great value for both Makers Unite and Generous Minds, as Makers Unite was successfully challenged on both the financial and strategic level.
As time went on Makers Unite developed in line with the advices given. That's why Makers Unite was presented again in the Integrated Capital Lab in March 2020. Where an integrated financing mix of around 500.000 euro's in grants, convertible notes, commercial debt, and international subsidies financially supports Makers Unite into it's new promising and impactful growth phase. A great example of combining and aligning the financial means of ICL-core members like Stichting DOEN, DOEN Partcipaties, RVO, and a Generous Minds Informal Investor.
“Generous Minds helped Makers Unite not only with an inspiring pitch deck that resonated well by all ICL-members as a start of an amazing journey. But most of all, they took us on a journey where they created an impact driven short- and long term financing strategy, and aligned all financiers around the table.
Their way of working is very informal and transparent and they didn't let go until we achieved our mutual goal of the desired financial closing. The ICL is a unique concept that I never could have organised on my own, and helped Makers Unite successfully into my new growth phase”
Thami Schweichler, CEO & Founder Makers Unite.
Generous Minds experts and network support
In line with our philosophy we introduce our Generous Minds experts and network were relevant, joined forces to increase the chances of success and impact. In this way all round strategic and operational financial support was given on an interim basis by Kees Boot, which was has laid the solid ground for the envisioned expansion. Ronald Beuk has led the Integrated Capital journey from the early start till the financial closing. And Anneke Wieling prepares Makers Unite operationally for the international growth and production. Besides that allround legal support on various aspects is given by our Generous Minds partner BvdV.
Personally Makers Unite is one of my favorite entrepreneurs that we actively support with our Generous Minds & Money. Thami is very authentic, professional, and a nice person to work with! It's great to experience how he, together with his impact driven team, is developing Makers Unite to the next level making the desired social impact to newcomers both in The Netherlands and abroad. While co-creating great sustainable and up-cycled product collections with international brands.