12 Days of Christmas rewritten to upskill women in Direct Provision

Dublin based social enterprise ‘We Make Good’ has partnered with 12 Irish designers in a campaign called ‘The 12 Days of Christmas Retold’. Here, they have rewritten the familiar song to inspire a series of decorations based on the newly rewritten 12 days, helping to modernise Christmas traditions for a more inclusive Ireland. All proceeds are being used to train and upskill women from refugee backgrounds in We Make Good’s Textile Studio. The decorations themselves are being crafted by participants of Cairde Enterprises, an education and training centre in Limerick which works with men and women who have experience of the criminal justice system. The 12 talented designers involved include high-profile names such as; Fuschia MacAree, Ashwin Chacko and Holly Pereira.

This project comes at an appropriate time in Irish society, as Covid19 sweeps through our communities and turns society on its head, We Make Good want to use this as an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to turn things right. It’s been a challenging year, and this project aims to evaluate what we’ve learned and move towards a better society, one where no-one is left behind.

In tough times, pulling together is such a positive action - collaboration is core to our business and to our success. This project has been a really lovely joining of forces, from the talented designers who have given us their time and work, to the makers down in Cairde Enterprises in Limerick City, who work tirelessly to get our products off the screen and into our hands and finally, the women in our studio, who will benefit in very real terms from the sale of these decorations

Joan Ellison, Co-Founder, We Make Good

This range of decorations offers a unique form of social commentary in that each one has been created by a different designer based on their interpretation of the modernised 12 Days of Christmas. Each ornament tells a story of the kind of society that they would like to see, making them collectable and culturally significant during a time when Ireland is on the cusp of great change, reflected in the sentiment of Ashwin Chacko, one of the talented designers who created one of the pieces:

“In the chaos of the world and the daily herald of bad news we can feel overwhelmed by our situation. Sometimes it is the small acts that have the largest impact. These acts of kindness have a ripple effect across our community, changing our society as a whole. If we all followed the simple rule of “love your neighbour as yourself,” there would be massive ramifications on the whole human race. It teaches us to put others before ourselves, if even 10% of us could put this into practice we would already be on our way to a better world” Ashwin Chacko, Dublin based illustrator & designer.

“This project is helping us to achieve the vision it beautifully portrays in these 12 designers' work - a more equal and inclusive Ireland. Our social enterprise network is helping to bring the lessons society has learned from Covid19 into the future of business”. Caroline Gardner, Co-founder, We Make Good.

The decorations are 100% Irish made and plastic free, drawing on Ireland’s design talent and supporting minority groups to take their place in society. It is the perfect fusion of creativity and inclusivity, with a transformative foundation of storytelling. We Make Good, and its network of 17 Social Enterprises across Ireland and over 20 Irish designers, provides a refreshing new framework for inclusion-focused enterprise which proves that beautiful products can also make a powerful impact.

The decorations launched on December 2nd and are available to buy either as a set or as individual pieces from wemakegood.ie and within their shop based on Fade Street, Dublin.

In a time that is typically defined by excess, these decorations are the perfect sustainable and meaningful Christmas present for corporate or personal gifting which is especially relevant in 2020; in a year that took, give a gift that gives.

The designers involved include Ashwin Chacko, Conor Nolan, Fuchsia MacAree, Holly Montell, Holly Pereira, Lauralee Guiney, Lydia Hughes, Neasa Tierney, Paula McGloin, Red&Grey Agency and Tara O’Brien.

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