Chic & Craft (http://chicandcraft.intras.es) is an Erasmus+ project that aims to give a second chance to clothes but also to people that have been left aside from our daily life, labeled with the unfair stigma of mental illness.
Chic&Craft is an on-line fashion designing training course specially designed for people with psychic discomfort which aims to re-use and recycle second-hand clothes and waste materials to create a unique European fashion brand where hand-craft designs and original creations play a major role.
Hand-craft is a therapeutic activity; through crafts, people can express themselves in a safe, non-threatening manner, which may be easier than sharing their internal feelings verbally. Inspired by this way of understanding the world, a complete set of training modules has been created including the most frequently used fashion design techniques, creative ideas to implement with training groups and the empowerment of the trainees through peer-learning methods. The key innovative factor in this training course lies in this guideline composed by easy to implement exercises, designed to improve or reinforce social abilities like team work, concentration, leadership, communication, self-confidence or motivation.
Around 50 people with mental illness are being trained in five different pilot experiences in Spain (Fundación INTRAS), Slovenia (OZARA d.o.o.), Germany (CJD Frechen), Greece (IASIS) and Lithuania (Valakupių reabilitacijos centre) during a year. 10 trainers from these countries have been involved in the testing phase, learning how to empower their clients with simple activities and games. Feedback from these experiences will help improving the quality of the teaching materials and will inspire other organizations to reproduce the experience in the future.