Swedish retailers H&M and Ingka Group (Ikea’s largest franchisee) have launched a new London-based initiative to fund projects with a “hyper-local” approach to manufacturing.
Atelier100 is an open call for creatives, from manufacturers to makers, who work within 100km of central London. Successful applicants will receive funding and mentorship for a project, which will then go on sale at the Atelier100 concept store in Hammersmith, west London.
The driving factor behind the programme is to find a “new sustainable and hyper-local approach to retail”, the Atelier100 team says.
The remit for projects is large. The Atelier100 team says it is open to work spanning fashion, jewellery, art and even music. Other projects could include ceramics, photographic prints or limited edition vinyl records. The only requirement is that the products can be carried away from the Hammersmith store.
Atelier100 adds that the “100km supply chain radius [reflects] sustainable and hyper-local approach to retail”. All products have to be made used locally-sourced materials by creatives working within 100km of Trafalgar Square.
How the process will work
The judging panel will choose 20 projects to join the programme. The deadline for applications is 24 April, and the judging will take place from 25 April – 5 May. Atelier100’s mentors will then work with the chosen projects to help realise their concepts. These products are set to go on sale at the Aterlier100 store in Livat Hammersmith mall.
Among the judges are chief creative officer at Ingka Group and Ikea Marcus Engman and global brand innovation manager at H&M Camilla Henriksson. Both Engman and Henriksson will offer mentorship to the chosen projects as well.
Successful applicants will receive between £1,000-10,000 in funding alongside mentorship for their specific concept. Thorough guidance is a priority, the Atelier100 team explains, from buying a domain name to applying for a construction license. “The incubator is about more than simply cultivating creative ideas – it’s about the practical steps needed to turn these ideas into a business,” the team adds.
A “hyper-local approach to retail”
“By keeping the scale of the Atelier100 platform compact, the creative community can comfortably work together during the prototype phase, retain those relationships and go on to build successful and sustainable businesses together in the future,” the Atelier100 team says.
The aim is to help the brands and businesses run independently, with help from the sales of their products at the Atelier100 store. As it’s a pilot scheme, the team explains that they will review the makers’ ongoing needs at the end of the initiative.
If the London-based pilot scheme proves successful, the organisers say that they will “definitely look to replicate it in other locations in the UK and beyond”.
Designers and creatives can apply for the scheme at the Atelier100 website.