Superheroes - A Doll
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Superheroes is a design stemming from a social project in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka. The series consists of six dolls: Hansitha, A Doll, Pasan, Sabana, Ikesh and Imesha.


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Superheroes to build a school

The superheroes of Kurunegala, Sri Lanka are the result of a project initiated by designer Alexa Lixfeld. The project started when Lixfeld was invited to Kurunegala in Sri Lanka to work and live with the community in order to explore possibilities to improve their quality of life. After a few days, it became apparent that the local community was dreaming of building a new school that would be accessible to all, but that means to do so were lacking. Lixfeld started looking for ways to develop a sellable product in order to finance the building of the school. While in Kurunegala, she discovered there were many local production possibilities to make and process textiles. In order to make the local production durable, Lixfeld further investigated how to involve locals in the production process.

From dream to design

It all started with the children from the Royal International School in Kurunegala. Children between six and eight years old drew their favourite characters and superheroes. From 120 drawings, Lixfeld chose six very different drawings to be transformed into dolls, made from local fabrics. Women in the community were involved in the production and thus had the chance to develop and apply their particular skills. They hand-dye the cotton, using only certified dyes, weave the cotton, and ultimately piece and sew together each doll. Lixfeld ensured that the dolls looked exactly the same as in the drawings (only a gun was excluded from Pasan). After the dolls were completed, they were named by their young creators.

Socially, ecologicallyand economically sustainable

For the project to succeed in the long run, a foundation was founded: the Selyn Socio-Economic Development Foundation. This foundation helps rural women irrespective of caste, creed, religion or race attain their common goal: to make a better life for their families and children. The foundation receives part of the Superheroes' profits and they reinvest the money in the Sri Lanka community. This includes building pre-schools in rural parts of the country, especially in post-war zones.

The superheroes (ca. 30 cm) are made from 100% hand-weaved cotton and dyed with approved dyes. They are ecologically sustainable and locally produced by Fair Trade standards (CE certified). Each doll comes with its own little sleeping bag designed in matching colours.

Designer: Alexa Lixfeld

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