Launched in 2015 at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Shelanu have created a souvenir range for Birmingham supported by the textile artist Ekta Kaul.
The development of this range of locally produced textile products celebrates the diversity of their city and is inspired by Birmingham’s industrial heritage and reputation as the ‘city of 1000 trades’. The collection consists of a tote bag, wash bag, make up bag, tablet case and a coin purse, priced at under £35.
Shelanu members based their designs on the city’s iconic buildings, both old and new, including the new Library of Birmingham, rotunda and Selfridges. Birmingham’s architecture had been a large part of their experience of familiarising themselves with their new city as part of the Collective. Market research with Birmingham residents and visitors from all over the world also showed that the buildings were clearly how people identify our city.
It is hoped that this product range will provide a regular income for the Collective as they aim to become a sustainable craft social enterprise which can assist more migrant and refugee women to gain well-being and aspiration through their creative development.
Shelanu worked with Birmingham Museums Trust as a partner during the development of the range. Artist Ekta Kaul supported the group through the design process.
The project was funded by a ‘Small Change’ grant from the Barrow Cadbury Trust and donations made through the online fundraising site Just Giving.
“Barrow Cadbury Trust is very pleased to have been able to support Shelanu. These lovely things show what a wealth of talent we have among us, and the iconic images of Birmingham illustrate the pride the members of the Collective have in their adopted city. I’ll certainly be putting one or two of these items in my shopping bag next time I visit the Museum and Art Gallery” Debbie Pippard, Head of Programmes, The Barrow Cadbury Trust.
“We hope this range will create a steady income for Shelanu, enabling them to continue with their jewellery ranges and workshops whilst growing sustainably. Our aspiration is to increase the membership to support more migrant and refugee women. We’d like to work with more members to build their skills and confidence and combat issues of isolation. We’re grateful for the support of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, Birmingham Museums Trust, Ekta Kaul and The Silk Bureau in seeing this range to fruition.” Emma Daker, Exhibitions and Project Development Manager
“It’s been great to meet and work with the people involved with Shelanu on this exciting project. It has been interesting to watch the range evolve and we are really looking forward to stocking it in the shop.” Louisa Stott, Central Buyer, Birmingham Museums Trust.
Items are currently out of stock as Shelanu are working on a new range. Sign up to our newsletter and we will let you know when products are available.