Design for good: Danish brand Menu offers trafficked women a brighter future
The trafficking of vulnerable women and girls is a major problem in Nepal. An estimated 15,000 girls are trafficked each year, the majority across the border into India where they are forced into prostitution and consequently disowned by their families. In an attempt to help tackle this overwhelming problem, Denmark's development cooperation Danida has teamed with Danish design brand Menu to give these young girls a chance to support themselves and their families.
The ongoing development project, called Nepal Projects, sees Menu working with the women to produce a new collection of exclusive handmade textile designs. Drawing upon the girls' impeccable weaving skills and the region's natural resources, the handmade collection includes pieces by four Scandinavian design studios: a Japanese knot bag in grey canvas, hand printed scarves and cashmere throws and bedcovers by Danish studio A Hint of Neon; a series of paper and textile accessory boxes and cashmere and fine merino wool pillows by Stockholm-based Note Design Studio; a minimalist teddy bear designed by Swedish studio Afteroom; and a canvas laundry bag by Copenhagen-based Norm Architects, who head up Menu's design department.
In development since November last year, the collection is set to launch at Maison & Objet in Paris this week and will be available in store from October 2015.