Mr. Bjorn Wiedow, the co-founder and deputy director of FABlab Namibia, sat down with us to explain a little bit about a project called Herd that was an exciting attraction and feature at the PDC. The space exhibited various products that were made entirely out of up-cycled wool that, prior to FABlab’s involvement, was simply being thrown away.
“Herd started with the General Manager from Agra Provision coming to our lab and throwing a big bag of dirty wool there and saying: You guys are creative. Deal with it”, Bjorn recounts. FABlab started doing some research about this raw material that was being regularly discarded and came up with some incredible things that could be made out of the wool. A campaign developed out of this, where the products could, in turn, lead to possible business opportunities for Namibians. Bjorn explained further, “All the plans are open-source, so if anybody has an interest in making handbags out of wool, they can come to us, we’ll teach them everything from wash- ing, carding, felting right through to the actual construction of the handbag and the design behind the handbag. And that’s basically for free. They can take it away, write a business plan and start the business. That goes the same for the gardening, the agricultural parts, furniture manufacturing, the shoes…”
But this venture forms only half of what FABlab does. In the very near future, they will start running workshops for various Small and Medium Enterprises, teaching how to felt and construct various products to sell, including offering creative and practical assistance with furthering certain ideas that come up in the workshop. If you are interested in finding out more about this project and more about the great work FABlab does, you should definitely check out their sexy website and contact this exciting enterprise for more information! www.fablabnamibia.org