Fashion designer Bas Timmer highlights the importance of BTG members to the Sheltersuit Foundation

A major event with a big impact can sometimes lead to a different view of the world. A vision that creates a call to do something for people who have to get through the day under the most difficult circumstances. Like the worldwide growing legion of homeless people who don’t have a roof over their heads from one day to the next and are therefore forced to sleep outside. It happened to Bas Timmer, who now supplies products worldwide that make life for the homeless a little more bearable. He told his inspiring story about the Sheltersuit Foundation during the BTG Business Event in Noordwijk.

BTG encouraged all guests to donate a Sheltersuit for 300 euros.

If you still wish to make a donation, please report to Arianne Rutgers of BTG

Bas Timmer (32) was originally a fashion designer, but when the father of two of his friends became homeless and died of hypothermia a year ago, he began to think about the fate of homeless people, who were sometimes forced to stay for days, weeks. , months and years street life. “I thought I can design beautiful things, but maybe it’s good to turn my creativity into something completely different by designing something to protect people who live on the streets. I spoke to several homeless people to see what their needs were, and based on that I made a first sample that I took to the homeless shelter. I got good reactions and some comments regarding the design. For example, there were some necessary adjustments to the bottom, which should no longer be completely closed, so that a homeless person can quickly kick up the sleeping bag when he has to quickly escape somewhere. I then adapted the design accordingly, after which production slowly started and quickly went into the thousands.” This made the Sheltersuit, a zippered sleeping bag a reality. Then Shelterbag followed.

Shelter suit and Shelter bag

Sheltersuit is a good warm waterproof winter jacket made from leftover material. There is a zip on the inside where you can zip a waterproof sleeping bag. “It makes it a full bodysuit that you can at least spend a warmer night on the street with, although of course that’s never good when someone has to sleep outside.” In the Netherlands, but also elsewhere in the world, this sleeping bag can be collected at the collection points of health institutions. They are produced at a factory in Enschede.
Shelterbag is a kind of mattress with a large hood attached, which makes it a kind of one-person tent that can be easily rolled up and carried as a handy bag. Shelterbag is produced in South Africa.


What started small eight years ago in the Netherlands has now become a huge success. Both products are available worldwide. At least in all cities in the Netherlands and many German cities. In addition, in France and further afield such as Latin America, Bogota, Argentina, Ecuador, the American West Coast, New York, Florida, Australia and South Africa.

He considers the support from the Danish company Maersk to be of great importance. They play an important role in supporting the distribution of the products. “In addition to the factories that we now have in the Netherlands and South Africa, it is intended that local factories will also be established. The most ideal is that we work towards having at least a small production capacity in each city. In those places, it can therefore be ensured that waste material is collected locally and then immediately recycled locally and transformed into new products.”


BTG has a warm heart for Timmer with the development of his wonderful alternatives. “I would be greatly helped if BTG would support me in securing even more partnerships like the one I now have with Maersk and a French fashion house in Paris. We especially need companies that want to make a local impact and want to work with us.”

When it comes to corporate social responsibility, Timmer would like to inform the reader of BTG Magazine that companies can no longer avoid taking action and doing something to improve the world in the times we live in now. Both socially and for the benefit of the environment. “Do it for people and the planet. Let’s make the world a little cleaner and help better protect the growing legion of homeless people and give them a more dignified existence. Or better yet, help prevent people from becoming homeless, because even among those who just work hard to live, there is a lot of poverty, so I would recommend everyone to work with us, to experience how much fun it is and how much satisfaction it gives when you can contribute something to society. This is also an opportunity for companies to show some of your social commitment and thus your professionalism.”

As far as the future is concerned, Timmer especially wants to ensure that production can be scaled up considerably so that the products become available to even more homeless people. “In addition, I hope to be able to enter into partnerships with even more companies and organizations and continue what we are doing now.”

Sometimes things happen in life that you don’t expect. Because Timmer received the title of ‘Next Generation Leader’ from the American magazine Time in 2020, the necessary doors opened for him in America, where he met the designer Gabriela Hearst. Exactly at the right time, because soon after she became creative director of Chloé. She asked him if he could develop a backpack that Chloé could sell. Timmer took it up and, in addition to seeing it as a nice recognition of the quality of the backpack he designed on it, it also ensured that two Sheltersuits could be produced for every backpack sold by Chloé.”

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