What It’s All About: The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based humanitarian program started by product design student Veronika Scott. As part of her work at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, she set a design goal of “creating something that satisfies a need.” The result? A coat for the homeless population called the Element S. Veronika’s creation is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. Even better? The coats themselves are made by a group of homeless women who are paid to create these coats for those living on the streets.
As Veronika explains on her website, “The focus is on the system to create jobs for those that desire them and coats for those that need them at no cost. The goal is to empower, employ, educate, and instill pride. The importance is not with the product but with the people.”
The Empowerment Plan gave its first coats away in February 2011, and is looking for support as they grown and expand from their program in Detroit to other parts of the country. To help? Spread the word or donate money or supplies (they are always in need of things like synthetic fabrics, wool, thread, velcro, PVC tubing,plastic chords, hot glue guns, scissors, and pins).
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