goodmakes is a social enterprise delivering participatory, design focused and art therapy based workshops for diverse groups including migrants and refugees, mothers, at-risk teenagers and the elderly, co-designing fabric patterns inspired by the participants shared stories and experiences around a specific topic.
Combining art therapy techniques with unique participatory design methodologies, the goodmakes workshops facilitate open dialogue, boost self esteem, encourage integration, community building and positive relationships through collaboration and shared experiences that inspire the design of the fabrics.
The unique goodmakes fabrics are produced and printed in the UK on organic cotton, then made into a range of products from shoulder bags for migrant teenagers starting a new school, wash-bags for refugees to store products in, tea-towels to gift to friends or to cute trousers for grandchildren.
The goodmakes story…
I am a narrative designer specialising in participatory design and socially engaged practice. I am passionate about harnessing narrative design to create positive change in the world.
The first iteration of the goodmakes workshop came about when I was on maternity leave.
Early motherhood can be a challenging time for women who, after a sudden transition from work to life at home with a newborn, often experience a crisis of identity, loss of confidence, isolation and loneliness that is not talked about openly. Sadly, in the western world, there is a conflict between women’s true experience of early motherhood and society’s expectation that motherhood should be a blissfuly fulfilling experience.
I developed the initial goodmakes workshop as a safe place for women to honestly share their motherhood stories and combined participatory design methodology with art therapy techniques to encourage collaboration as a way for participants to form new relationships, build confidence and gain new skills by creating a tangible outcome in the form of the fabrics.
The workshop format can be adapted to work with diverse participants including the migrants and refugees, children, at-risk teenagers, the elderly, Parkinson disease patients and even a baby shower!
The goodmakes name came from my little boy…
“That’s a good make, mummy!” my 5 year old exclaims after we finish making him a superhero cape, building a cardboard robot or tasting a cake we’ve baked together.
So when deciding on a brand for the social enterprise, goodmakes sounded like a good name!
… As he would say: “Those trousers you sewed from that fabric you made are definitely good makes, mummy!”