Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?
Independent living solutions, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering), Age friendly buildings, environments, and communities.
If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.
Our stakeholders include our grannies, designers, photographers, stylists, retailers, corporation partner and final consumers.
Together with our grannies, we developed the solution of gathering them in social knitting clubs where they can gather once per week and share their passion for knitting while working closely with young designers.
Fashion professionals: through questionnaires it was brought to our attention how difficult it can be for young designers, stylists and photographers to enter the fashion industry. The Knitting Social Fabric projects bring them the opportunity to build their portfolio while collaborating with a social entrepreneurship initiative.
Cooperation partner: WorldGranny
WorldGranny has nine years experience scaling up projects that benefits older people.
For Retailers, this initiative represents a sustainable solution to the demand they face from their customers on innovative fashionable items made of natural materials.
Final Consumers: This initiative allows them to broaden their buying options with items that have a positive social, economic and environmental impact.
Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.
The Granny’s Finest concept was first tested in July of 2011 with a pilot group of about 15 grannies and 2 designers. Together, they made the first winter 2011-2012 collection.
In October of the same year they launched their first store in Rotterdam and their online shop.
The concept was well received by media, consumers, health care institutions and all participants in general.
As part of the pilot, it was asked to the grannies and designers to grade their experience. The satisfaction rate given was a generous 9 which represents the impact of the project in their lives.
In addition to the knitting experience, the project organizes special trips and excursions for all the grannies and designers participating in the program. As a result of the pilot, Granny’s Finest won the RET Aardig Onderweg Award (“best project on the works”) in the category of Society and Sustainability.
After the pilot, Granny’s Finest opened their signature concept store in Rotterdam. The space has a feeling of a community fashion center where young and old can meet at any time for a chat, cup of coffee or a new knitting project.
What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?
One of the potential barriers is that consumers’ demand exceeds output numbers from the grannies available in the clubs. That is why it is important to continue spreading the word about this initiative, increase its reach, and decentralize the clubs. Ideally, we would like to extend the number of clubs across the country and internationally as well. Granny’s Finest is actively searching to partner with regional governmental and care-agencies so the initiative can be taken on in other regions with the ongoing support of local institutions.
Another potential barrier is the sourcing of sufficient affordable raw material, which is why we are exploring different supply channels overseas to keep the model economically feasible, and therewith sustainable.