Jeannette Loua and Lone Munk have started-up a slow fashion company and are committed to the social responsibilities of fashion companies. (Photo: Rowan El Shimi // DEDI)
People, planet and profit are at stake as 97 pct. of all fast fashion garments are made in developing countries. One answer is slow fashion and social responsibility, Norhan El Sakkout, Lone Munk, and Jeannette Loua would agree.
By Rowan El Shimi
For two slow fashion companies, run by three participants of DEDI Green Gate, the social aspects are at center. So, when meeting during the first international workshop in Copenhagen, Norhan El Sakkout, Lone Munk, and Jeannette Loua shared their experiences of challenges in this respect.
“We talked about people working in the sector, their conditions, their happiness. People, planet and profit were the main themes we discussed,” Egyptian designer Norhan El Sakkout says.
Norhan El Sakkout has started the slow fashion brand Sahqoute and works with local artisans to produce her pieces. Statistics have it that 97 pct. of all fast fashion garments are made in developing countries and 80 pct. of those are made by women and sometimes even children. This has been motivating factor for her.
“From a very conceptual standpoint it was very interesting talking to Norhan. She has a very intellectual approach to fashion which is unique,” Jeannette Loua says.
Jeannette Loua and Lone Munk, owners of the design studio Munk & Loua, are themselves working with artisans in several countries in Africa to develop textiles designed by the duo and produced from fabric waste. They also train the artisans on new techniques and are looking for ways to import products produced by these artisans to Denmark and Europe.
The three entrepreneurs were also talking business: “We tried to find solutions for packaging for my brand – I was very enlightened by Lone’s views on tote bags and that there are other solutions,” Norhan says.
Lone Munk and Jeannette Loua already have an experience of working with female artisans in Egypt as part of a partnership with the NGO Oxfam Ibis. Now, they are hoping to develop their business and collaborate with Egyptian artisans.
“The Egyptian artisans are very diverse and have a lot of talent and energy,” Jeannette Loua says. “It was not just a product, there was also a story they were telling.”
All three participants look forward to continuing their debates on ethical and sustainable fashion when they will meet in Egypt this October for the second international workshop.
“It was a very valuable discussion that was not limited to textiles or the craft, but the discussions went much deeper. I consider them friends whom I would go to for work advice and brainstorm with because it feels like a safe space to strategize,” Norhan concludes.
“It’s always important to get input from other people especially from different countries because you get a new insight into your own work,” Lone Munk adds.
DEDI Green Gate project is managed by Program Manager Rana Khamis, Project Officer Yousra Fouda and consultant Sonja Katharina Zipelius.