Where world firsts in material innovations happen

By Vigfús Vigfússon

Members of Makerversity Amsterdam and London were invited to join Hot-Shop, an intensive four day festival hosted by ECCO Leather. Leaders and influencers from the industries of fashion, product design, marketing and electronics got together in the beautiful town of Dongen in the Netherlands to push the boundaries of leather development and production of the future.

This year fashion designer and Under 25 alumni Maartje Janse from Makerversity Amsterdam and Hannah Galvin-Horne (of Grafton Saddler) and designer Tina Gorjanc from Makerversity London got the opportunity to join this annual adventure.

When the 144 participants arrived in Dongen they were in for a surprise when confronted with the fact that Hot-Shop 11 was a true glamping experience! They were indeed expected to sleep in beautiful tents for the coming three nights (the first night was cold). On arrival 24 teams of 6 were made, all consisting of people coming from multidisciplinary backgrounds and different levels of expertise.

Each team had a technical support from ECCO Leather which provided insightful knowledge of the leather making process and showcased the latest technology they are using to innovate. Such as minimising the water usage in the tanning process or creating heat responsive and transparent leather surfaces.

“It was great to see how open and innovative the ECCO Leather is” says Maartje Janse.   

The task was to explore different ways of treating the leather during the finishing stage of the production process. For the next two days the teams had to come up with several concepts and prototypes. Finishing with a trade show where each team presented their prototype, material or product they made out of the ECCO Leather.  

“Our team specifically come up with the idea of strategic dye and wax application that enabled the surface of the leather to be altered and reversed as desired. By wearing the item made from this type of leather another colour present in the newly formed creases in the surface would start to emerge, essentially altering the colour and texture. The process could also be reversed at any time applying heat or ironing the surface making it even and smooth again.” Tina Gorjanc (Grafts on Sadlers and Makerversity London Member)

But it’s not all work. Hot-Shop is a great place to meet like-minded professionals and leaders of the industry in a context you would not so often meet them. It’s not every day that junior designers get to rub shoulders with senior designers from the likes of Apple, Nike, Alexander Wang. During a cosy campfire, a foam party or a hangover breakfast new relationships were formed. Hot-Shop is an incredible place gain motivation for your professional practice, have insightful conversations and meet people for further collaborations.

“I was very thrilled to meet all those inspiring, interesting people and I was really looking forward to it… I had very good conversations both for work and for fun. I even had such a good conversation that someone offered me a potential job!” Maartje Janse (Fashion designer and Makerversity Amsterdam Under 25 Alumni)      

They were intense days which at times felt like a high school camp but with inspiring conversations, great prototypes, little sleep, lots of work, and a mind blown by personal connections, information and inspiration thrown in. After all the work it definitely made everyone crave a night of sleep in their own bed. We’re excited to see what they have in store next year…

Huge thanks to the teams at ECCO for inviting us to be a part of what was another incredible year of the Hot Shop.

 

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Vigfús Vigfússon
Posted By Vigfús Vigfússon
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