Fair Trade Egypt launched its exclusive "Earth Tones" Winter Collection at an event on October 29th at its showroom in Maadi. The event featured live demos from brass and leather artisans Injy, Ishak and Ahmed, a few of Fair Trade Egypt's long-standing artisans who were able through the enterprise's support to improve their craft and develop it into trendy accessories.
The Winter Collection centers around the underground tones: roots, colourful canyons and mineral sedimentations. The colours are inspired by the warmth of the center of the earth, including purple and grey with black, silver and fading greens - and using roots as a motif.
This handmade collection is the result of months of design and artisans' training to create ethnic yet stylish and functional home décor items. The collection includes home deco items like bed, table and light items - with table runners, plates, cups, placemats, bed linen and duvet covers, wall hangers, sofa throws, blankets and kilim at the heart of the collection. All the items were crafted by artisans from Cairo, Behira, Fayoum, Qena, Sohag, Aswan, Siwa and North Sinai.
“The collection comprises more than 40 new products and designs crafted by 15 artisan groups of approximately 700 artisans - mostly women - in 8 different governorates. It reflects the evolution of a traditional product into modern and trendy home products," says Hayam Mansour, head of product development. "Turning the traditional Akhmim textiles into bed covers and sofa throws, or ethnic embroidery of Geziret Shandawyl into fashionable table runners. Moreover, several items of the collection combine more than one craft, like alabaster units with brass charms in a clustering technique that Fair Trade Egypt succeeded to implement in numerous crafts."
Over the years, officials from the enterprise say their responsibility has doubled towards artisans to provide them a sustainable means of marketing and income, and towards customers to provide the latest trends of useable home décor and functional gifts. Recently, Fair Trade Egypt has been putting emphasis on integrating crafts in mainstream consumption by producing home décor items.
Fair Trade Egypt has been working since 1998, with approximately 2300 artisans in 34 groups all over Egypt to promote Egyptian handcrafts and cultural heritage. They are a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, and implement the principles of Fair Trade in all their activities. It is a social enterprise with a mission of empowering local communities by offering marketing and support solutions to marginalized artisans.