These days, it’s more important than ever for individuals to give back to the community and a number of regional brands across the region are making this as easy as purchasing a pair of shoes. Read on for the five Middle Eastern labels that ensure your money goes towards a good cause.
Zineb Britel and Laura Pujol, the duo behind the footwear brand Zyne, support fair trade, and sustainable practices to preserve local artisanal traditions in Morocco. Women are offered lessons in embroidery, beading, and ultimately, full-time jobs at Zyne. Each leather slipper is meticulously handmade by women cooperatives in the community. These coops are dedicated to improving the welfare of local women by inviting them to provide for their families via the production of the mules.
Sarah Beydoun, the founder of Sarah’s Bag, works alongside female prisoners and ex-prisoners in Lebanon. Beydoun designs the bags which the inmates and women who have completed serving their sentences create them by employing artisan-trained techniques.
Darzah– an ethical fashion range of hand-embroidered shoes, handbags, and homeware – is the brainchild of professor and humanitarian Janette Habashi. The initiative aims to better the lives of marginalized women in Palestine while preserving tatreez, an age-old embroidery technique passed down from generation to generation.
Syrian-born Yara Tlass, designer and founder behind jewelry label uSfuur, works in partnership with grassroots charity organization Watanili so that a percentage from each sale goes towards supporting displaced Syrian communities in need.
Bahraini environmental engineer turned designer Rawan Maki is the brains behind an all-sustainable namesake label. Her clothing brand is built on the concept of using reusable, low-impact materials and fabrics in an effort to maintain and protect the environment.