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Dutch design stimulates palm leaf production in Niger

Working with Service Artisanal Agadez in Niger, Abke Geels, senior designer at Flex/The Innovationlab has introduced a new series of products based on palm leaves.

By Editor Design.nl /asdf 01-02-2007

Working with Service Artisanat Agadez in Niger, Abke Geels, senior designer at Flex/The Innovationlab has introduced a new series of products based on palm leaves.

The collection, brand name ‘TaVie’, is intended to serve a European market. Design Agency Millford Brand-id has been brought in to help strengthen the brand identity. Service Artisanal Agadez is the central sales and export organisation for a variety of producers of craft products in Niger. The materials used are mainly silver, soapstone, batik, embroidery and palm leaves.

Abke’s efforts and commitment are contributing to improving the living standards of a number of village communities in Niger, many of which will focus on producing palm leaves. Palm leaves are selling poorly in Europe at the moment, due to their high price and lack of connection with present trends. Niger also has to compete with cheaper countries in Asia.Abke’s intention is to design products using palm leaves that are positioned at a high level and which can find a connection with current European trends in functionality and design, and thereby to create new sales and sales channels for the material.

New brand: TaVie
A new brand has been created to support this aim: TaVie. The TaVie collection will consist of living accessories and bags. A silver tube with the TaVie brand name punched in it will be woven into all the products. This will associate the products with a sense of luxury and give them a stronger brand identity. Design agency Millford Brand-id was brought in to further support and strengthen the brand identity. The project team, which consists of Flex/The Innovationlab, Tahoua Import, Millford and communication agency Colonel Parker hope to improve the situation of women in Niger.

DDiD
The Niger project is an initiative of Dutch Design in Development (DDiD). This organization links professionals in creative services with producers in developing countries who export to Europe.

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