Indigenous traditions dictate that nothing go to waste – not water, not animals hunted for food and not materials. It’s that philosophy that informed ÅTERSTÄLLA, a new Ikea Canada collection of textiles, created in collaboration with the Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator in Toronto.
ÅTERSTÄLLA – which, in Swedish, means to restore, heal or redecorate – is comprised of an apron, a basket, a pouch and a tea towel, all made from salvaged Ikea materials that would have otherwise gone to waste. According to Setsuné, “the four items together symbolically represent the Indigenous ‘traditional kitchen’ for transporting, storing, preparing and feasting food.”
The not-for-profit fashion incubator, founded by Sage Paul and Erika A. Iserhoff in Toronto in 2015, provides programming that supports the creation and exhibition of fashion, textile and craft creations by Indigenous artists. One of Setsuné’s projects is the Ts’kwe Makers Atelier, a group of Indigenous entrepreneurs who partner with a large retailer to create, over the course of six to eight weeks, a collection of sustainable fashion or textiles, further developing their business and production skills along the way.
“Ikea has partnered with Setsuné not in a charitable way, but actually in a business relationship. They’ve come on as a supplier,” says Brendan Seale, head of sustainability for Ikea Canada, in a video about the partnership.
“The significance of working with Ikea is that it provides a massive platform for Indigenous artists, to raise our profiles and the work that we’re producing,” Paul says. She adds that the collaboration bridges Setsuné’s work and Canadian consumers, “in a way that represents us as Indigenous women, as opposed to other people doing it.”
The ÅTERSTÄLLA collection, detailed below, will be available at Ikea Canada’s Etobicoke location starting June 8, until quantities run out.
Available in assorted colours, this apron can be used for cooking, gardening or crafts. Using the salvaged Ikea materials, Setsuné applied three strips of fabric in a way commonly seen in Indigenous clothing and design.
Honouring traditional foraging practices, this reversible fabric basket can store fresh produce and herbs, or medicines and other small household items.
These 50x70cm tea towels come in assorted colours and patterns. In addition to their role as kitchen cleaner-uppers, Setsuné suggests using the towels as a material to bundle special items, as in Indigenous eating and ceremonial practices.
These patterned fabric pouches could hold herbs, teas and medicines, or mail, keys and small trinkets.