MU Collection: Lifejackets Upcycled into Designer Objects

Do you ever wonder about who made your things? And how?

Well, so do we!

That’s why we make designer objects that carry the stories of the people who made them. That’s also why we thought you’d like to follow their journey, from lifejacket to handmade designer objects:


Nothing created, or destroyed, only transformed.

To prepare for their new form, the life vests are first sent to the laundry, and then taken apart. We’ve found that’s the most fun part of the production process; when the tailor team and our program participants have the opportunity to talk to each other in a relaxing atmosphere where they develop trust and friendship. #makersgonnamake

Pattern-making is an Art

The secret of a well-made product is an excellent pattern to stir it to the right direction. After ironing the now torn apart pieces of the life vest, it’s time to select the materials and trace the pattern. To come up with the handcrafted design and elegant look, we have carefully developed unique patterns for the different items in our Collection. Next step in the production process: make it your own.

Sun kissed, and with a personal touch

Remember: our collection is made of life vests that were left on the shores of Greece when newcomers arrived in Europe. That means the sun and seawater  had time to act on the material and create distinct hues and variations. Beyond nature’s action, our tailors make sure that each piece has different features from the original life vest. Black straps, reflectors, and safety instruction tags are used together with the multiple hues of fabric to create unique pieces that you can enjoy and be proud of.

Come together... right now...

Now that the pattern, strap, velcro, and foam are cut, they’re ready to be sewn into a tote bag, travel pouch, or laptop sleeve. The cushion and padding of these items are also made from the original cushions and padding from the life vests.

Fair warning though, we are not sure if they float! 


Now that you know the long journey of our pieces, from life vest to being upcycled into a sustainable product, you should also know that it’s helping connect creative newcomers with a refugee background to the job market, leveraging on their talents to build a new life here in The Netherlands.

When you become part of this movement, you don’t only carry a product with a story. You create an impact and give stories a new beginning.