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Project Papillon

Founded in 2009 in Finland, Project Papillon produces a range of clothing basics, and accessories inspired and produced by inmates in the Finish prison system. The collection is based around the mission of rehabilitation through offering inmates meaningful work. Prisoners provide inspiration and creative input, as well as produce the final products. Designs are timeless and classic, with a tongue in cheek inmate chic. Items include a prison stripe pajama set for men, replete with inmate number emblazoned on the chest, prison orange old style Western onsies with back flap, and chain gang denim shirts, many items made in organic cotton. Designs all have their own history, a story and heritage that evolved through the unconventional collaboration with correctional institutions.

Inmate labor is an old concept, seen as a form of punishment in the past; it’s now generally accepted as a means of rehabilitation, and a constructive way of learning employable skills. Rehabilitation through work is an integral part of prison life. Inmates are encouraged to participate in workshops, as a means of helping them cope while incarcerated, as well as to learn new skills. Prisoners are paid an hourly wage for work done. Society benefits from inmate labor through taxes, and helps defrays the maintenance and upkeep costs of imprisonment. Healing can also be achieved through participation in therapeutic art classes, and creative endeavors.

There is a long tradition of specific skills taught through the prison system, including printing, with the Finish government and post office using forms printed in Finish prisons until fairly recently, when digital printing made it obsolete. Project Papillon uses the prison presses and the skill of the inmates to produce all their two-colored printing. Sewing and metal work also have a tradition in the prison system, both of which Project Papillon utilize in their collection, from key chains to shirt production. Papillon provides rehabilitation projects both inside and outside of prison life, with inmates deciding the extent of participation. A portion of profits also goes towards providing relief for victims of crime.

Project Papillon are currently crowdsourcing here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/projectpapillon/from-prisons-with-style

Website: http://projectpapillon.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/projectpapillon 

Twitter: @projectpapillon

The Book: Refashioned

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