By Farah Mahgoub
On a mission to provide support for refugees in the US, Mohamed Malim’s apparel company Epimonia recycles life jackets previously worn by refugees and turns them into bracelets, creating jobs for refugees in the process. With 50 percent of the profits raised going to nonprofit organizations helping refugees with education and advancement, there’s no doubt Malim is making a difference in the world.
Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, former Somali refugee Malim moved to the US with his family at the age of four after they won a lottery system through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
After partnering up with his uncle Omar Munie, a Dutch-Somali fashion designer, in December 2017 he launched the fashion accessory and apparel company Epimonia, which means perseverance in Greek, in order to create the bracelets and bring them to the US.
Epimonia’s key products are the bright orange unisex bracelets, called Embracelets, and around 500 of them were sold last year. Half of the funds go towards charity partners while the other half aid Epimonia’s efforts in creating new products.
Not only does the company donate money to help refugees, it also provides jobs for them. Epimonia employs refugees in the Netherlands to collect the lifejackets from Lesbos Island in Greece, a common entry point for refugees coming from the Middle East, Turkey, and various African countries. The refugees manufacture these life jackets into bracelets at the Dream Factory, a social enterprise founded by Munie.