Cross-cultural and co-creating

Companion & Co. is a social enterprise and a co-design company, collaborating with migrants and former refugees to create wooden stools and silk scarves. They’re currrently crowdfunding so they can achieve their goal of making a difference in the developing world.  

Companion & Co. is a creative social enterprise start-up employing migrants and former refugees in the co-design of scarves and stools.

Founders Kareen and William Durbin met through engagement with former refugees and both have masters degrees in social enterprise. They recently launched their Kickstarter campaign and are asking for community members to help them reach their goals of creating income and stability for former refugees here in New Zealand.

Currently in its prototype phases, these stools will be crafted with former refugee men, utilising carving knowledge carried on migration.

“Our aim is to provide meaningful and sustainable employment – intertwining technology and traditional craftsmanship to create unique objects that celebrate our increasingly multicultural communities,” says Kareen Durbin.

Silk scarves are currently available online, and the series of wooden stools have been released to coincide with the crowdfunding campaign, which closes on April 12. Companion & Co. adheres to Slow Design principles, and are developing designs and practices using minimum waste.

Companion & Co.’s kickstarter taget is $5,000 minimum. For more information, visit


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