For strong winds and harsh reality: Swedish street paper Situation Sthlm teams with Beckmans design school for new vendor jackets

Swedish street paper Situation Sthlm has collaborated with students at Stockholm’s Beckmans College of Design to develop an eye-catching and functional new jacket for its vendors.

After noticing a decrease in sales, the team at Situation Sthlm tasked the final year fashion students with designing a jacket that would create greater visibility for vendors when selling at their pitch, while still keeping them warm and their possessions safe.

Credit: Magnus Sandberg

Pia Stolt, CEO of Situation Sthlm, said: “To be visible in the streets while selling the magazine is important for several reasons. Workwear creates a clear identity for those who wear them, and making people see our sellers is very important for sales. And if sales are good, it improves the self-confidence of the vendor.”

Twelve possible options were produced by students based on the wishes and opinions of the street paper’s vendors, with the final results being displayed in an exhibition at the Fotografiska Museum of Photography in Stockholm and at Situation Sthlm’s head office. Here, the vendors, who would be wearing the jacket every day, voted for their favourite.

Credit: David Hamp

Vendors, like Ann Malmberg, are enthusiastic about the positive impact that the striking design and impressive functionality of the new jacket will have on their ability to sell Situation Sthlm.

Ann said: “I really hope all Stockholmers will notice this, see us and buy a lot of magazines from us now. It will be much easier to find us out on the streets. It will characterise this whole group.”

Credit: David Hamp

Pierre Blom, another of the 300 strong team of active Situation Sthlm vendors, is also full of praise for the water repellent, windproof and heat insulating garment.

He said: “I liked this jacket from the get go since it has two different modes. You are visible. And if you do not want to be seen when you have finished selling, you go private.

“I urge all Stockholmers to keep an eye out for us, now it will be much easier to spot us in the streets. And do not be jealous of the jacket, but I think they will be.”

Credit: Karl Andersson Credit: Karl Andersson Credit: Magnus Sandberg

The winning design, concocted by Julia Andersen and further developed and implemented by Fristads Workwear, is black, with a vest, emblazoned with the Situation Sthlm logo and a striking pattern modelled after the Stockholm cityscape, that is integrated in a special pocket, which allows it to be folded away when the vendor wants to be private.

Situation Sthlm, an INSP member, is a veteran publication of the street paper movement, having been around for 22 years, empowering the homeless people of Stockholm and giving them a way to reintegrate themselves back into society. Through the design and production of this new jacket, they hope to strengthen that mission.

To read more about the process of creating the jacket, visit the Situation Sthlm website.