The design, craftsmanship and history behind the furnishings in the Iota Project are something we can all admire, and so much better than a soulless, mass-produced piece from some chain store. The forward-thinking Israeli collection of woven stools, seating cushions, rugs and pillows are crocheted in sections by women in highly unemployed communities. Each person makes a section of a product from the comfort of their own home, and the final design is assembled by Iota. The result is the epitome of 'slow furniture,' made just like an American quilt with each personal story woven into the fabric of their design.
We spotted Iota’s latest designs at Design Junction New York. Though crocheting may be an age-old European craft, this collection of designs couldn’t be further from old fashioned. The modern spin and playful design is evident in each product – from wood based stools to oversized cushion seats and pillows – all made from a mixture of cotton, acrylic and polyester.
Founder Shula Mozes, a long time crocheter and social entrepreneur, wanted to combine her love of crocheting while helping women in lower income communities. Mozes told Inhabitat, “I’m a social investor and for many years now (over 15) and I do everything I can in order to make society a better place to live. [Crocheting] is one of my hobbies, so I had this vision of helping unemployed women to make bread for themselves.”
Her employees aren’t normally able to support themselves because of cultural, religious or geographical restrictions. This work enables women to support themselves with a work-from-home job that still lets them attend to their children. At the point of hire, the Iota team visits each employee’s home, training them to make intricate pieces of the final product. Much of Iota’s profits go to helping sustain social programs as well.