As things become ever more disposable in our consumer based world, it’s easy to lose sight of the value in handmade and locally produced goods. These items often get overshadowed by larger, cheaper brand names or high end status symbols. The truth is, you can buy locally sourced, produced and ethical fashion brands right here, right now. All it takes is a little consideration and you can find styles to suit you from pajamas, to evening wear, to your very own wedding gown.
Ethical fashion is fashion that’s created with fair and moral principles put into practice, from start to finish. That means materials and production are done in the gentlest way possible, keeping in mind the environment and worker and animal welfare. Ideally, an ethical fashion brand will seek to source it’s materials locally, pay its local workforce fairly and offer clean and healthy working conditions, and sell their products at a fair market price. The ultimate goal is fairness and sustainability.
If you still think it’s too difficult to find unique and fashionable local items that were created with conscience, here’s a list to change your mind!
UpFuse has really taken the lead for ethical fashion this year, starting with their spring launch event at ABnG in Zamalek that showcased not only their incredibly unique products, but served as a platform for the ethical fashion hashtag, #whomademyclothes. UpFuse uses recycled plastic and goods from right here in Cairo to create their ‘upcycled’ bags, totes and accessory cases. Their commitment to a full circle of sustainability and transparency for their production is reflected in their mission statement, “to create sustainable fashion that supports local communities while raising awareness and decreasing waste; turning problems into opportunities.” Search their products, place your order or get in touch with them on their Facebook page or website.
Surprise! Egypt’s beloved local designer Amina K not only chooses to represent her country through her Egyptian inspired designs, but she also represents what her country has to offer by locally sourcing her materials and creating her looks in local workshops. We didn’t really need much more motivation to get our hands on Amina’s pieces, but now we can do it understanding their true value and knowing that with each purchase we’re also supporting Egypt’s economy and workforce. Search and order Amina K women’s wear, accessories and men’s shirts all in one stop on her website.
Everyone has their favorite go-to bag, whether it’s for the gym, beach, weekends away, class or otherwise. So what could be better than having that essential accessory be made right here in Egypt, with handmade materials and by local artisans working in their skill sector in Cairo workshops? We think it’s the fact that when you buy one bag, also known as a gerbaya, you’re actually purchasing for two; one for you and one to lighten the load for a local school child in need. Besides, L2K decorates their bags with unique sayings and words in Arabic and English, making giving back all the more fun. Grab your knew favorite essential and help a child by getting in touch with L2k on Facebook or Instagram.
Designer Deana Shaaban isn’t just our local go-to designer when it comes to bohemian beauty and functionality, she’s also a longtime key player for local sourcing and production. Deana admittedly works very closely with her clientele in creating custom pieces in addition to her seasonal lines, but she also has a keen eye on the production of her products. She sources her labor locally and even helps individuals build their skills through her workshop, in order to learn a craft to be dependent on, adding a depth to ethical fashion generally unheard of in the industry. To get your hands on her current floral inspired line or to book an appointment to create your own evening or wedding gown, contact Deana on Facebook or Instagram.
Allaga also works with local artisans-all across Egypt-to produce their authentic goods. This season is highlighting pieces handmade in Siwa, and all products are made from 100% Egyptian made materials. Allaga has been creating conscious Egyptian designs and products for three years, sell in different shops and boutiques around Cairo and are heading to Bazaar Berlin this fall. Their intention is to share authentic Egyptian styles and designs while providing skilled artisans a chance to use their talents. Be sure to catch your favorite summer piece before it’s too late on Allaga’s Instagram or Facebook.