Egyptian and Arab commitment to the environment comes from a sense of deep rooted belonging to nature. Naturally, once the resources and awareness became readily available for actual moves to be done on the ground, many entrepreneurs and brands felt the call to action. Taking up sustainability and social mobilization at the heart of their business models, these collectives and brands are helping communities and paving the way for more green business as well.
Established in 2019 in Izbet Khairallah, an impoverished area in Cairo, ButtonUp’s first mission was empowering the local community with women and children at the forefront. Having effectively conducted workshops and training for local women in sewing and different skills, these women have effectively turned into independent and skilled crafters. ButtonUp’s products and social messages are synonymous of the potential that can be unearthed with investing in local communities. All their products, which range from tote and shopping bags, to stationary and laptop sleeves, are eco-friendly and handmade, so every single piece really is as unique as the woman that made it. Sabra, their take on the Egyptian working woman as a superhero, is a testament to the strength found in determination. Support them and visit their Instagram for more!
Seeing how single use plastics in food packaging and day to day utensil use poses a significant risk to human health, this brand decided to make a change. The founder, Donia El Masry, detailed her frustration about not finding sustainable and recyclable alternatives to single use plastics available at local supermarkets or sale points. Thus, WeCare came to life with the mission of putting eco-friendly products on the shelf, and so far, they’ve made strides. Their food packaging alternatives include paper bags, food wrapping sheets, and biodegradable utensils. All these products can be found online or in major supermarket chains like Oscar’s, Gourmet, Metro, and many more.
Sustainable Fashion Alliance
This brilliant collective of sustainable fashion pioneers has immense potential. The alliance is a group of designers, stylists, brand owners, and industry heads who came together for one common goal: a sustainable fashion industry from start to finish. These brands started collaborating towards their sustainable aims, and hope to include more members in the future to start a tangible difference in supply lines and consumer habits. The members so far include: Subtle Style by Noha, Saqhoute, Laién, Upfuse, Scarabaeus Sacer, Nadine Chamaa Designs, Fashion Revolution Egypt, Economy of Love, and The Oriental Hybrid. Most members care for more social issues, and participate in mobilization campaigns such as the fashion brand Scarabauus Sacer. Their designs always have a story behind them, and their dedication towards dealing with farmers and suppliers to make their 100% Egyptian cotton clothing of the highest quality with zero waste, is admirable. To see where this alliance is heading, check them out here.
Where Egypt and the MENA region are heading when it comes to sustainable brands and solutions, is beyond ambitious and impressive. We hope to see more social initiatives and entrepreneurs working towards a greener future.