Home at Work

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Home at Work: Welcome to the Fashion Village!

Bandung, IndonesiaBandung, Indonesia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Welcome to the Fashion Village! A healthy live-work environment for apparel communities. Here community-owned Fashion Shophouses & Production Gardens provide housing, workspace and education. Urban development and fashion innovation as powerful drivers behind increased welfare and well-being.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if local communities, living around textile and garment factories, become important co-producers of sustainably crafted fashion products and are empowered to turn polluted manufacturing areas into healthy and self-sustaining Fashion Villages?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Bandung, Indonesia we witnessed that the apparel industry still exhausts people and the environment involved in its supply chain. Workers live in informal and polluted neighbourhoods, lacking decent homes and proper sanitation. Local villagers lost their job as a farmer or fisherman because the eco-system got disrupted. We therefor adress the need for a healthy and equitable live-work environment for communities who produce our clothes.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Home at Work’s solution is to upgrade existing industrial neighbourhoods into healthy and self-sustaining Fashion Villages. By providing decent worker homes and collective workspace for local entrepreneurs in Fashion Shophouses & Production Gardens, Home at Work empowers apparel communities to improve their quality of life and health. A replicable cooperative business model enables different stakeholders to invest in the development. Jointly building a Fashion Village step by step. The Fashion Shophouses & Production Gardens use the global mother factory and the local landscape as a reliable circular backbone. Together creating green jobs, boosting the eco-system and economy. Fashion as a driving force behind sustainable development.


Project Home at Work was granted by several funds and companies: Creative Industries Fund NL, EFL Stichting, MVO Nederland, Philips & Alliander
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Imagine the Fashion Village Bandung in 10 years. Birds sing and children play hide and seek in the bamboo fibre forest. On the riverbank, in one of the collective Production Gardens Ibu Yen and her sister harvest bark for organic textile dyes from the mango trees and pick fruit to sell on the market. Upstream, the Mother Factory produces bamboo fabric with a circular production method, keeping the river clean. In the vibrant streets you will find beautiful Fashion Shophouses built from locally sourced materials. Inside Pak Asep and his apprentices dye bamboo T-shirts with a funky batik print for a sustainable limited C&A edition. Upstairs factory worker Wati has a decent home and grows peppers on the spatious gallery for a healthy meal.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The impact of Home at Work to date is that, by working with the community, it created awareness about the potential of Bandung as a city for fair and innovative fashion production. Here, we established the Fashion Village Lab: a real-life testing ground to jointly develop a prototype of the Fashion Village with different stakeholders. The Mayor of Bandung supports the Fashion Village Lab, because it puts his city on the sustainable fashion map. Serious collaboration with the global fashion industries is needed in this pioneering development. The Fashion Village Lab creates impact step by step. Home at Work starts on the smallest scale by realising a first Fashion Shophouse & Production Garden. This ensemble will function as 1) a stepping stone towards a self-sustaining neighbourhood, 2) a community activator and 3) a value creator by generating revenue from rents and fashion products.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The Fashion Village is a replicable concept for worldwide application. A first Fashion Village is established in Bandung within 5 years. Home at Work aims to develop 10 different Local Fashion Shophouses & Production Gardens within the Fashion Village Lab, providing more than 100 new worker homes and creating more than 300 direct jobs. The Fashion Village Lab also functions as a mechanism for other parties to initiate projects that help to establish the Fashion Village, such as the development of a clean mother factory, waste to energy facilities, sustainable fashion education, etc.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The cooperative development concept of the Fashion Village, is based on a self-sustaining business model and consists of three pillars: a Fashion Shophouse Co-op, a Production Garden Co-op and a Fashion Products Co-op. They generate revenues from housing & workspace rent and from sales of crops & fashion products. A combined Fashion Village fund, with a long-term investment plan, guarantees the financial sustainability of the project.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are different projects that aim to improve the livelihood of workers. There are also different projects that aim to empower local entrepreneurs by setting up sustainable fashion businesses. Our approach differs from these initiatives, because we crosslink business development with urban development. By connecting informal entrepreneurs with global brands and the corresponding marketplace, the development is accelerated. Hereby increasing the impact of the project in a structural way and on a larger scale, adding value on a social, economic and ecologic level.

Founding Story

There was an “Aha!” moment when reading a background story in the newspaper about the historic factory village (1910) of Philips in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. It was in the same period that the collapse of Rana Plaza was in the news. How would factory workers of global brands live nowadays? This question led to the first successful grant application of Home at Work (Creative Industries Fund NL) for an exploration in Indonesia. In Bandung we encountered the industrial live-work environment of the apparel industry. The close relationship between working and living fascinated us. Here, we developed the idea to upgrade existing industrial kampungs into healthy and thriving Fashion Villages.


The design & development team of Home at Work consists of experts in the field of community-based urban planning & architecture (Mo Smit – COCOCAN), cooperative business development (Gideon van Toledo) and landscape design & metabolism (Suzanne Loen). This core team gained insights and established relevant networks during design research conducted in Bandung last year. Founder of Home at Work, Mo Smit, has broad experience in Public Private Partnership projects that are designed from the outset in cross-functional teams (clients, architects, contractors, consultants), and in projects in which residents are closely involved in the development of their own homes and neighbourhoods. The office of Home at Work will be based within the Fashion Village Lab. This real-life testing ground enables Home at Work to work closely together with the local community, businesses, government and knowledge institutes. Within the Fashion Village Lab it’s easy to extend our team with local experts and students.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Manufacturing.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Researcher, Other [please specify].

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Brands, Consumers, Designers, Farmer or Farmer Associations, Factory Workers, Factory Owners, Researchers, Retailers - Specialty Store, Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager, Technologists.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Essential Services (i.e. Healthcare and Education), Access to Finance, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Recycling or Circular Economy, Transparency.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Capacity Building, Organizing, Technology.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Hidden from View: Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories are Only Visible to a Select Few, A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Unite More than Voice: Tap into Community Capital and Collective Resources, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Yes, we hope to inspire others by welcoming them into the Fashion Village Lab.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

Partnerships with the local community, businesses, government & knowledge institutes enhance our approach.