Comfort Blanket for our planet
The decision-makers at the COP26 climate summit showed that people with different backgrounds and nationalities – even without knowing each other – can successfully realise a project together. That was the message of Gijsje van Bakel, with her unique comfort blanket for the planet. A colourful comfort blanket made of almost 3,000 pieces of fabric, made by people from 22 countries and 4 continents.
The designer started the project after she had seen ‘A life on our planet’ by sir David Attenborough. She was so saddened by this that she wanted to do something positive to turn that feeling around. Responding to the documentary’s message that the climate can still be saved if people join forces, she rolled out a project that responded to this symbolically.
She asked people to make a 10 x 10 cm piece of cloth, which she processed to make the blanket. The action spread like an oil slick, so that after a year she had an immense blanket of 7 by 4 metres. In the spirit of combating climate change, she bicycled from the Netherlands to COP26 in Glasgow at the beginning of November.
European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans invited her to display the blanket in the EU pavilion at COP to express ordinary people’s concerns about the climate. Stella Brozek-Everaert of the EU Climate Pact and Global Climate was impressed by the ‘amazing project’ and called it ‘a very clear signal that something must be done’.
A great conclusion to a unique expedition. And convincing proof that you can make a difference as a single person.
Videos: Edith van Zalinge