Farah Hourani On Fashion, Sustainability & Social Endeavors
With annual earnings of almost £1 trillion, fashion plays a significant role in the global economy. Inherently making the fashion industry one of the most polluting in the world. As such, high fashion is determined to reduce its carbon footprint and its negative impact on the environment, making its way toward a more sustainable positioning within global markets. Conscious shopping and secondhand fashion are becoming fast growing businesses creating a boom in previously loved apparel.
The failings of the fashion industry’s environmental considerations became evident to Jordanian Fashion Designer Farah Hourani and she decided to take action. Hourani was approached by FabricAID a Lebanese company established to create social and environmental impact on waste created by the fashion industry, she liked their vision and Hourani set out to initiate their Jordanian chapter.
Hourani’s journey with FabricAID started coincidentally with a new year’s resolution asserting her re-entry into the fashion industry; not only as a designer but with an aim to marry her love for fashion and design with a social enterprise. FabricAID paved the way for such an opportunity.
Through word of mouth, Hourani was introduced to FabricAID co-founder Omar Itani and Hourani immediately realized its potential in Jordan. Hourani was attracted to FabricAIDs’ ethos and values; this was her starting point to begin laying the foundations for FabricAID in Jordan with a team of three to establish a fashionable enterprise with socio-environmental roots and an intricate logistical system.
With strong relations with NGOs and local communities Hourani, FabricAID in collaboration with Ruwwad Al-Tanmeya set out to aid marginalized communities while fostering and supporting sustainable fashion.
How it works?
Clothes are collected from donation bins that are situated in different areas in the city. They are sorted into categories and either resold or recycled.
The gently used items with headers and tags attached are sourced and sold at FabricAIDS’ retail concepts in marginalized communities, Souk L Khalanj. Souk L Khalanj serves low-income families, offering clothes within a micro-price range. With the goal to place high-quality apparel into the hands of those who need it while also decreasing fabric waste and providing a respectful and decorous purchasing experience. This brings Hourani personal joy. To see young girls, first time moms and working women walk into Souk L Khalanj and purchase good quality affordable garments and walkout with a smile on their faces. Hourani believes that “it is important to give people affordable options to shop in a dignified way. Also giving the consumer the experience of walking into a store that could be found in anywhere.”
FabricAID have also invested in a vintage thrift shop, Second Base, where one can either sell or donate their gently worn clothing. The thrill of vintage shopping and finding a unique dress or sweater is priceless. The clothes range from luxury designer to gently worn stylish items. The rise in popularity of vintage items is closely linked to a change in consumer attitudes and values whereby shoppers feel attuned to sustainable fashion ideals. Such initiatives help generate recurring revenue and customer loyalty. Feedback through word of mouth, social responsibility and environmental awareness come together at Second Base and the local community has been very supportive and enthusiastic about it.
Garments that are too tattered to be used at Souk L Khalanj or Second Base get a second life as well. Via FabricMERCH they are upcycled and re-purposed into tote bags, wallets, and stylish accessories to be sold in the FabricAIDs’ shopping outlets. With the help of local designers, disadvantaged tailors and sewers scrap clothing, avoid landfills, get a second life, and create jobs in marginalized communities.
Souk Okaz is another FabricAID, store concept where consumers may purchase and sell affordable secondhand clothing. Customers can sell their gently worn items for an attractive payback if they follow their list of accepted brands and criteria (headers and tags attached).
While collecting and sorting all the garments that were donated in FabricAIDS bins Hourani came to the realization of an excess of pants suits available in the local markets, this brought about the birth of Wear Salad brand. Wear Salad is where suits are reincarnated and are upcycled into unique stylish genderless, contemporary one of pieces. Moving away from the current “gimmicky patchwork aura of unicycling trends.” In relation to the brand Hourani designed the large sorting facility, crafted the designs, and trained tailors who are now fulltime employees of the brand. The trimming waste that result from the upcycling of the suits would be used to create accessories.
Hourani’s work with FabricAID has changed her essence as a designer. Over the years she had lost the inspiration and zest of creating for the sake of high fashion, she felt she needed more. FabricAID and its initiates have paved the way for Hourani to delve into the fashion industry with a purpose “creating beautiful things in a new way.” Her creative skills unleashed and her values in sync. She no longer shops high end fashion her “favorite skirts are from Souk L Khalanj and unique jackets from Second Base.”
Hourani seeks to revolutionize eco-fashion, bringing together community, artists, designers, and musicians via FabricAID outlets creating the perfect platform to bring awareness toward sustainable fashion.