On Monday 19th April, we held a live discussion, 'Memory, Revival and Rights in Afghanistan's Fashion Industry' with expert panellists, exploring Afghanistan's rich history of crafts, textiles and delicate needlework, the role of revival and re-imagination in the future of Afghan fashion, and how our panellists sustainably invest in artisanal workers to foster a transparent, fair industry.

WATCH THE RECORDING


"One of my collections are called Rangina. Rangina is a Dari term that means colourful, and that collection is made with five different shades of Agate, which is another gemstone of Afghanistan... That collection symbolises the different ethnicities of Afghanistan and the message it has is no matter from what background or what ethnicity we come from, if we are together, we look pretty and we look beautiful and that is the power of embracing diversity and acceptance." - Tania Aria, Veezha


Among many things, we took a deep dive into:

  • The importance of cultivating a relationship between maker and buyer;
  • The historical role Afghanistan played as a cultural centre for fabrics, embroidery, jewellery and fashion;
  • And the power of tailoring and jewellery making skills to provide sustainable livelihood options for vulnerable families.

"The exchange between a customer and a maker, it goes beyond just the currency. It's a value, it's an exchange of culture, I think of understanding, it's a means to connect." - Zolaykha Sherzad, Zarif Design.


Meet the panellists

We were joined by Zolaykha Sherzad, Founder and Creative Director of Zarif Design, an Afghan Fashion Brand which seeks to preserve Afghanistan's rich cultural heritage, support Afghan skilled artisanship, and ensure their modern, timeless Afghan designs practice the art of slow production.

Jeanne De Kroon, spoke about her experiences as the Founder of Zazi Vintage, a luxury brand that works alongside the UN Ethical Fashion Initiative to co-create with women’s artisanal communities across the world, including in Afghanistan, guaranteeing decent and fair working conditions, living wages and full transparency to raise long-term living standards and sustainable livelihoods.

Doanna Breshna from scarf brand Azezana also joined the panel, a business committed to supporting vulnerable Afghan women to build sustainable livelihoods whilst reviving Afghanistan's silk and cashmere industry.

We were also thrilled that Tania Aria, the founder of Veezha, also joined us. Veezha is an authentic handmade Afghan jewellery brand which seeks to highlight the brilliance of Afghan gemstones and craftsmanship with modern, contemporary design twists.

Sound good? Watch the full recording here:



We support women in Afghanistan to find independence, start their own businesses, and help drive progress and development in their communities.

“Since taking part in Afghanaid’s tailoring course [my sister] makes and repairs all of our clothes, and sells clothes at the market. This means we are spending less and also earning an income. I can see she is very happy and it has improved all of our lives so much, so we are happy too,” Jomagul (right) is proud of her sister Nickbhat's (left) achievements.

READ NICKBHAT'S STORY

This panel is free to watch but if you would like to make a voluntary contribution to help us provide more vulnerable women like Nickbhat with a sustainable livelihood, you can do so in just a few short clicks:

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