DUBAI: Samira and Yasmine Erguibi are the Moroccan mother-daughter duo who have made it their mission to have a positive impact on fashion. Designers play an active role in promoting sustainability and ethical practices with their accessories label, Doum.
Each model in their line of bags is handmade by underprivileged women. The tote bags, pouches and pouches support fair trade and sustainable practices to preserve local craft traditions and invite local women in rural areas around Marrakech to provide for their families through the production of the bags, according to the label’s manifesto.
“It was during my final year project which focused on the situation of women in rural areas that the idea of Doum germinated”, says Yasmine, who co-founded the accessories brand with her mother. in 2017. “We met extraordinary women and wanted to make our contribution. It is natural that together we created a cooperative some time later. Many well-known international brands have supported us from the start. And after that, we decided to launch our own brand, ”she said.
The brand takes its name from the Moroccan palm leaf, which is harvested, pruned and then woven by artisans. “It’s a nod to our culture, our heritage and our know-how,” Yasmine explained of the decision to name the label Doum.
Today, Doum operates his own cooperative in Morocco, Doum For Women, which currently employs 235 women artisans.
Doum For Women is the first basketry cooperative in Morocco to achieve SEDEX certification, which means the organization ticks all the boxes for ethical business practices.
“It is important to work with these women, first to help them get out of precariousness and then to promote their know-how on an international scale”, shared the designer. “Before being a brand, Doum is a real social and solidarity project.
In addition to improving the well-being of local women, Doum also promotes the preservation of the rapidly disappearing craft form in Morocco.
Each model is meticulously handcrafted using ancestral braiding and embroidery techniques from environmentally friendly materials, palm leaf and raffia. Each bag is then assembled by leatherworkers in the Doum workshop. Sometimes a single bag can take over 100 man hours to produce.
“These techniques are passed down from generation to generation and we want to continue to preserve this artisanal heritage while including it in the current fashion landscape,” said Yasmine.
All the dyes used in the products are natural, made mainly from mineral and plant extracts.
At the same time, the designer underlined the importance of creating a rewarding ecosystem for all the players in the brand.
“The future of fashion depends on people. The people who make the products, the farmers who grow our materials, our employees and our customers. We want to have a positive impact on all those on whom we depend and on those who depend on us in return.
The brand has gained international recognition since its launch five years ago, collaborating with American label Tory Burch in 2019 on “The Ella Basket Bag”. The designer says one of her biggest career goals is to further internationalize Doum, while making Moroccan craftsmanship a key part of the fashion landscape.
The brand has a lot to look forward to in 2022. Doum is set to open its very first flagship store in Casablanca, where it will sell all of its durable and eye-catching designs, including bags from its new collection.