Over the years as a jewellery designer, Efva Attling has made several collaborations, raising money for charity. These organizations include Bris, the Swedish Red Cross and Unizon. Right now, their work is more important than ever, so we want to do everything we can to support them.
Aid organizations' work during the Corona crisis
The Red Cross is currently working both in Sweden but also internationally to support healthcare and provide information about the Coronavirus. They coordinate help to elderly and risk groups where they among other things, buy them food and medicine.
At Bris, the pressure is currently high. Concerns and questions from children and young people about the Coronavirus are increasing. There is more trouble and vulnerability at home when isolation becomes the norm. Therefore, Bris is currently devoting much of their resources to be able to give more children the chance to talk to a curator.
Unizon saves lives, protects and supports women and children vulnerable to violence by gathering women’s shelters and your women’s empowerment centres across Sweden. In times of anxiety, pressure and stress, violence and abuse against women and children are increasing and the work of supporting and helping them become more important than ever. By donating to Unizon, more women and children receive protection and support.
Bris is entirely dependent on support from companies, individuals, funds and contributions. “For Bris, every penny is valuable. Without support from private individuals and companies like Efva Attling, Bris would not be able to offer children the help and support they need and are entitled to”, says Thomas Örnebjär, Sponsorship Manager at Bris.
With the collected money, Bris is able to hire professional curators who can help children and young adults who are reaching out to Bris.
For 5000 SEK (almost 470 EUR), Bris can help at least 10 children to find a way out of their problems. The jewellery Efva designed for Bris have so far raised 2 million SEK. This have contributed to help more than 4000 children to a better life.
“It feels fantastic”, Efva continues. “What Bris asked from me, really paid off: help to be able to hire good people who can help the children when they are in need.”
Even though the different organizations and associations are working in different areas, they have one thing in common: their strive for people’s equal value and respect for each other. For every piece of jewellery sold “For a good cause”, part of the proceeds goes to the selected organization.
The first collaboration Efva did was with the Swedish Red Cross.
“It began after the tsunami, back in 2004. I have friends who lost their loved ones, both children and adults. I was in Bangkok when the big wave came and was fortunate enough to leave with the second airplane home to Stockholm, together with both wounded and chocked people who just came from Kaoh lak. It was terrible, a very strong and emotional experience.
“Sometime before all this happened, I’d been asked if I wanted to create a gift to Princess Christina, as an acknowledgement for her time as chairman for the Swedish Red Cross”, Efva continues. “When I came back home from Thailand, I called my contact at the Swedish Red Cross and asked if they wanted to do a collaboration. I really wanted to give something back, to help them rebuild the affected countries.”
As a result, Efva designed the “Angels collection”, where a portion of the earnings goes to the work of the Swedish Red Cross. “The inspiration for the collection comes from the angel wings that children use when they dress up as angels. My thoughts are with all of those who didn’t have the strength to hold on when the wave came, all of those who became angels. When people wear ‘Angels’ it’s almost like they have something in common, like a secret club.”
As of today, the Angel collection has resulted in over 10 million SEK raised to the Swedish Red Cross.
“I created a piece of jewellery many years ago, as a symbol against domestic violence. But it took some time before I found the beneficiary for it. At the time, I was in the United States, but couldn’t really find the right organization. When I saw the documentary (Älska mig för den jag är) about a famous Swedish singer being exposed for domestic violence and later died from the injuries, I suddenly remembered my piece of jewellery, waiting to come out and work”, says Efva. “So, I contacted Unizon.”
Unizon is a covenant uniting over 140 Swedish women’s shelters and young women’s empowerment centers, working for a society free from domestic violence. “It took them a while to answer, because they had so much to do after the documentary. The documentary had a big impact in Sweden. It was like lifting a lid, releasing horrible things.
“When I did the design, I wanted to focus on the physical part of the violence; two hands where one is stopping the other that is about to hit. That’s what ‘Hold Back’ is about; to rethink your action that one second before you hit. To try to be a worthy person, to try to have respect for your life. The opposite alternative is terrible, destroying families and lives. Your home should be a safe zone.”
“Pride is obviously very close to my heart, Efva says. “When I did ‘Homo Sapiens’, a piece of jewellery that Madonna wore, I split the word ‘homo’ and ‘sapiens’ and stamped them separately on two different plates in silver. It was a form of political action.”
The inspiration for the necklace ‘Rainbow Freedom’, where part of the proceeds goes to Pride’s Solidarity Fund, is building on this political action. “During the Olympics in Moscow, some years ago, the Swedish high jumper Emma Green had painted her nails in the colours of the rainbow, as a protest to Russia’s view on homosexuality. But she was told by the Swedish committee that they thought it was too provocative since Putin not allows you to be pro… homo sapiens.”
Efva continues: “My idea was to make a rainbow flag, but instead of actual colours of the rainbow, I stamped the name of the colours into the silver. This way, you can always wear the rainbow flag, even if you just want to do it in a discrete way.”
In the wake of #MeToo, a group of doctors wrote an article in Aftonbladet: “Don’t call my daughter a whore”. Together, they started the foundation #IRespectToo, which aims to reduce the number of verbal and physical violation and abuse.
“They approached me and asked if I could help highlight the problem”, Efva says. “In the end, it’s all about respect. So, I created the letter ‘R’ in silver, with the letters ‘espekt’ stamped on one side. Respekt spelt with ‘k’ means ‘respect’ in Swedish. Since the project was founded in Sweden, the word will be in Swedish, no matter where you buy it.”
Efva designed the t-shirt “Feminists take no shit” in favour of GAPF – “Never Forget Pela and Fadime”, an association working against honour violence.
“In a way, this collection is related to ‘Hold Back’”, Efva says. “Your home should be the safest place. It’s in your home you should be the most loving. And when you have children, that’s what you have to show them. It’s about respect. It’s horrible that people can kill each other for having a different opinion than your parents.
“I think the expression is really strong too, giving girls the right to decide over their own lives. That’s what it’s about, women power”, Efva concludes.