A person sewing colourful yarn onto a basket made of natural fibres.

MÄVINN brings the local craft market to your home

For over ten years, IKEA has collaborated with social entrepreneurs to create collections and products while securing job opportunities and livelihoods for rural women and persons with disabilities. We met with designers Paulin Machado and Maria Vinka to learn more about the upcoming collection MÄVINN, and how their love for travel and diverse cultures inspired them to blend the social impact, warmth, and comfort of natural fibres with the versatility of denim.

MÄVINN is an expression in the dialect used in Småland, where IKEA was founded. The term means "having the wind at your back". By choosing MÄVINN as the collection’s name, it can serve as a symbol of good fortune and to be in a position that encourages forward momentum. Each piece in the MÄVINN collection is unique in form and shape but kept together with the splashes of colours which you find in the details - all of them providing better livelihoods for people that need it the most.

A woman sitting at a table sketching.
Maria Vinka, freelance designer.
A woman dressed in denim standing next to a wooden table holding a place mat made from natural fibres.
Paulin Machado, in-house designer at IKEA.

Paulin Machado, in-house designer at IKEA and freelance designer Maria Vinka, travelled through Bangladesh, and India, “having the wind at their back” to be inspired and to develop a collection that appreciates the beauty of handicrafts and prizes modern life.

"We want the MÄVINN collection to take people back to the local markets we've visited so they may experience the varied textures and designs we've fallen in love with. We think we can produce a more genuine and more sustainable home design experience by fusing traditional and modern elements", says Paulin.

Like browsing an old market

Within the denim category are specially designed pieces such as the denim bag and the denim kitchen apron, both made from leftover denim. The bag is perfect for carrying all your essentials, whether heading to the grocery store or bringing your laptop to work.

A blue denim bag.
The MÄVINN denim bag.
A person putting on a kitchen apron made from denim.
The MÄVINN denim apron.

The natural fibre items are crafted to blend the distinction between seasons and indoor and outdoor living. The rustic banana fibre lampshade is just one example. Additionally, the collection features baskets in two sizes that can be used for decoration and storage.

"I'm naturally curious, and I think Paulin is too", Maria explains. "We're always eager to learn new things and enjoy travelling and meeting the artisans who create the products. It's not just about making something and sending it off, we want to witness the people who are sewing, embroidering, or crocheting. We genuinely appreciate meeting and interacting with others”.

A person in colourful clothes sitting on a chair braiding natural fibres.

Bringing together material and handcrafting

Designing the products to support the bazaar or travel adventure is only half the journey. The other part of the journey lies in finding the right preconditions and the right partners to produce the collection, bringing together natural materials and handcrafting skills. 
“When creating a product, it's important to consider the location where it will be produced. For example, if a certain area is skilled in weaving with banana fibre, that is a good material to use for the collection. However, it's also important to think about the need for job opportunities. A more diverse and more sustainable product can be created by combining multiple materials and utilising the skills of multiple communities. This was the approach taken in this project”, says Paulin.
A person sewing a basket of natural fibres.

As a result, the MÄVINN collection is produced in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Vietnam. As these areas are rich in natural fibre and handicrafts, it’s one of the ways to create long-term livelihoods for people in the rural areas of Bangladesh and India and persons with disabilities in Vietnam.

“During our travels in India and Bangladesh, Maria and I met social entrepreneurs who were making this collection. We were particularly impressed by the lampshade made from natural banana fibre, which is a one-year crop. Rather than letting the trunks go to waste, they are dried and cut into strips that are braided or woven. Skilled workers then use a jig to shape and sew the braids into a simple yet elegantly handmade lampshade that emits a warm and inviting light.”

A pair of hands sewing a lamp shade made of natural fibres.

Creating a positive impact

Paulin and Maria strived to maintain a harmonious relationship between nature and people while supporting those in need and taking a responsible approach towards working with materials.
The handmade nature of the 20 items in the MÄVINN collection has given each piece a unique narrative. This narrative revolves around creating more job opportunities for people in rural areas and marginalised groups across Asia.
As part of the commitment from IKEA to creating a social impact supporting these groups, IKEA has been collaborating with social entrepreneurs. IKEA has partnered with social entrepreneurs since 2012, expanding to over 11 social businesses worldwide where global products give higher volumes, creating more jobs.
Two persons standing in front of home furnishing products made from natural fibres.

Through MÄVINN, Paulin and Maria strive to infuse authenticity into personal spaces by incorporating tactile objects that narrate a story. These objects evoke a sense of nostalgia and prompt us to recall our past adventures. A unique patchwork is formed by incorporating these treasured items with old furnishings or family photos. These materials symbolise significant life moments and hold a special place in our hearts. With MÄVINN, you can "have the wind at your back" in creating a personal space that reflects your memories and experiences.

The MÄVINN collection will be available in IKEA stores starting June 2023.