How exactly does the Urban Change Lab service work?
First, we look at the description of your concept and approve if we believe it fits into our realization capacities. We send your idea to a local partner in Ghana, Kenya and/or Nigeria and ask a craftsmen for an offer. If, in the craftspersons opinion, significant aspects are missing, we approach you to complete the description jointly. We also give a recommendation with regard to the price. Our aims are fair payment for the craftsman while at the same time paying attention to the usual local market prices. The most reliable partner with the best quality gets the order, not the cheapest. Only then do you make a binding decision. If you have follow-up questions, you can directly establish contact with the partner. Together, you can agree on the color, surface finish, etc of the item. In this manner, through us, you get to know artisans all over the world. This is our contribution to international understanding. When your product is done, the craftsman will send you photos for approval. If you’re satisfied, you can clear the item for delivery. The craftsman hands your product over to our local agents. This is where quality assurance takes place. The local agent then sends your item through customs and we send your item to you via courier service.
How long does the delivery take?
It is not only in Germany that workmen and deadlines pose a challenge. Therefore, a little patience is necessary. We only recommend our service for items whose delivery time is not critical.
What kind of products can I order?
Be creative! You can order all products that can be
a) produced by a craftsman
b) delivered by a parcel-shipping company
Our aim is to develop export-worthy products with your help. We place no limits on your creativity. Think of wood, of cloth, of stone, of metal; think of everything. Just about every idea is worth enquiring about.
What would be a reasonable price?
We would recommend taking the price which the same hand-crafted product would cost in Europe as a guide. Just not the industry price at IKEA.
The reason for this: Wages in developing countries are considerably lower than in Europe. However, there are several external factors which slow down the production of items in developing countries, making them more expensive, e.g., the required machines are not always available, resulting in more time-consuming handiwork. For instance, power blackouts are a daily occurrence in Nigeria and lead to extra costs. In addition to that, transport and our commission must be considered. We give you a transparent representation of what makes up the cost of your particular product.