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How we protect chosen cultural assets and empower culture keepers through co-creation.

How do we co-create?

Co-creation is understood as a new type of service and product development. It plays an important role, especially in the B2C sector for the relationship between companies and customers. Companies are increasingly involving their customers in the development of new products and services to be directly connected to their needs. In addition, co-creation is also increasingly practised with other partners or stakeholders along the supply chain.

cen. will also use the co-creation approach to fulfil the value of cultural appreciation in particular. In order to ensure the greatest possible integration of culture keepers of a chosen cultural asset, we would like to cooperate with them in the design of our products. This artisan-designer collaborations certainly brings us creative moments as well as challenging situations we would like to get involved with, because only through this process a piece of the tradition and identity to be preserved merges directly with the design of our sustainable couture accessories.

Why do we co-create?

In our first journal article on "We love culture", we already reported on the prevailing problem of cultural appropriation in the fashion and textile industry. One speaks of cultural appropriation in particular when dominant social groups make use of parts of certain, especially marginalised cultures - without having asked for their consent or having involved them in any way. Now, the focus of cen. is not on the preservation of cultural assets of explicitly marginalised social groups, but rather on cultural assets from the field of local arts and crafts, whose practice and reach is unfortunately declining.

In order to get inspired by chosen cultural assets not only from our subjective design perspective, but also to consciously integrate the inherent knowledge of the culture keepers into our products, we will cooperate directly with them. For each of our future collections, we aim to actively participate with culture keepers in the design process to combine the artistic moment of cultural craftsmanship with the typical cen. design language - a harmonious fusion of aesthetics for our couture accessories. In this way, we want to ensure that traditions will be preserved and that part of our proceeds go to those who have built and maintained this traditions over many decades, sometimes even centuries. Both cooperating parties - cen. as a company and culture keepers - should benefit equally from co-creation.

5 reasons why it is so important for cen. to co-create our products:

  • Uncovering the inherent knowledge of cultural assets.

  • Reaching greater authenticity through collaboratively designed products.

  • Achieving a higher level of quality.

  • Ensuring respectful treatment of culture keepers, their knowledge and talents.

  • Enabling a correct understanding of cultural assets.

Through our co-creation approach, we are not only aiming to exchange cultural treasures and pass them on to our community, but rather to enable an exchange with our culture keepers based on mutual respect. Cultural assets will be protected; culture keepers will be empowered.

by Viktoria Heinzel


Braumüller, J., Jäckle, V. & Lorenzen, N. (2019). Fashion Changers. Knesebeck Von Dem GmbH.

Deserti, A., Real, M. & Schmittinger, F. (2022). Co-creation for Responsible Research and Innovation, Springer.

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