Three women wearing red aprons talking inside the IKEA Malmö store. Two of them are wearing hijabs.

A service custom-made to create jobs

Yalla Trappan, a women’s cooperative and social enterprise in Malmö, gets immigrant women far from the labour market into paid jobs, contributing to better self-esteem and language skills. As a partner, we provide insight into Swedish work culture – and get to offer customers a handy sewing service in the process.

The collaboration first started back in 2010 when Yalla Trappan made the hijabs for the Muslim IKEA staff in Sweden.

Just a few steps from the checkout counters at the IKEA store in Malmö, you’ll find Yalla Trappan sewing service – part of the women’s cooperative and social enterprise with the same name. The idea is as simple as it’s great – customers that don’t find what they are looking for among the ready-made curtains, cushion covers, tablecloths, bed skirts and more, can choose to buy fabric in the store and get what they need made to measure at the Yalla Trappan studio.

The collaboration first started back in 2010 when Yalla Trappan made the hijabs for the Muslim IKEA staff in Sweden. In the following years, we made a couple of product lines together that they sold in the Malmö store. In 2014 the social enterprise started running the sewing service for the IKEA store Malmö before moving permanently into the store in 2016.

Since then, the studio has been busy. Today it’s staffed by one seamstress and one intern every day of the week.

A woman wearing glasses, a red apron and a printed hijab is cutting out a sewing pattern with scissors.
In 2014 the social enterprise started running the sewing service for the IKEA store in Malmö before moving in permanently in 2016.

“We get more and more orders. There are always things to do”, says seamstress Neire Kerimovska, who runs the studio. “I like it here, I feel at home.”

Although the sewing service is the main focus of the collaboration, Yalla Trappan also designs and sells an upcycled product line called Re:Do. Mostly baskets, bags and boxes made out of old IKEA store banners, there are also kimonos made of surplus IKEA curtains and discarded towels turned into robes. And much more.

A woman standing on a beach holding two pillows with multi-coloured cushions.
Customers can choose to buy fabric in the store and get what they need made-to-measure at the Yalla Trappan studio.

For Yalla Trappan, the sewing service is only one part of the enterprise.

“We’re not Yalla Trappan’s only partner. Far from it, and that’s a good thing. They are self-contained and don’t rely on us for their existence, which makes them socially sustainable for real”, says Karin Wingren, Customer Relations Manager at the IKEA store in Malmö.

The collaboration creates interest. Lately a number of IKEA stores in Sweden and around the world have started, or are about to start, sewing services inspired by the Yalla Trappan + IKEA model.

They are self-contained and don’t rely on us for their existence, which makes them socially sustainable for real.

Karin Wingren, Customer Relations Manager at IKEA Malmö