Mallorca-based social project developed by Christiane Altenburg
The island of Mallorca holds many joyous memories for the Altenburg family, and unfortunately it had been hard hit by the Covid19 pandemic. Having relied almost entirely on tourism for their income, over 40% of people had lost their jobs – many of whom were seasonably employed, without safety nets or government assistance. Without an income for over a year, countless families found themselves being unable to pay their electricity, phone or internet bills. They were relying entirely on food banks, which had sprung up all over the island to help and some lived in fear of eviction.
Trustee Christiane started Animo Arta in December 2020, after visiting some of the families in Arta to help give back the “Animo”, the courage. The municipality helped select 8 people in need and in cooperation with the local council, The Altenburg Foundation set up a sewing workshop and found a wonderful, engaged, professional seamstress, who taught them how to sew. A big room was given to work in, industrial machines were bought, the beautiful Mallorcan fabrics selected, and so a very special group was born: Animo Arta.
Mallorca’s IKAT fabrics are truly unique to the island: “Telas de la Llengua”. There are still three family-owned businesses in Mallorca that use the traditional technique originated in the 1900s, to hand-weave these high quality fabrics made of linen and cotton. The IKAT designs are inspired by the beauty of the shapes of the Serra de Tramuntana, and the energy of its colours reflect the sea in all its shades of blue and the magical light of the Mediterranean. It is a unique, Mallorcan product.
Many families were given the opportunity to make and sell these bags, which in turn gave them stability they they so desperately needed in uncertain times through the pandemic. Some have even continued with the skill and turned this into a full-time job for themselves, and The Altenburg Foundation is extremely proud to have made these opportunities available to them.