The Paris edition of Maison & Objet was a whirlwind of fascinating new projects and products – among these was Danish company Menu’s new Nepal Project. We speak to Bjarne Hansen, the owner and founder of the group, to find out more.
How did you start the project? When I turned 50 years old, I wanted to do something different. Thanks to the Danish development group Danida, I got in touch with a community of women in Nepal, saved from the street and from prostitution. Using local craft techniques and traditional materials – merino wool, Himalayan cashmere, cotton and leather – we gave them the chance to create new products of excellent quality. The women involved receive a good salary – they can go back to school and support their families. Menu manages all the production steps as well as product marketing.
What are some of the products the women have created? Various designers and design studios collaborated with us on the design phase of first collection, which was then produced directly in laboratories in Kathmandu. The studio Norm Architects created a canvas bag, Afteroom studio created a wool teddy bear, the Swedish Note Design Studio designed cashmere and merino wool pillows and a set of small boxes, while Danish group A Hint of Neon created a line of scarves and cashmere blankets.
The first collection of Nepal Projects Menu will be on sale from October. www.menu.as