It’s true that all nations are struggling in some form or other. Jordan is seeing a re-emergence of COVID-19 which is threatening the country’s businesses and livelihood. There is the political struggle in Belarus, bombings in Gaza and of course the Postal Service debacle in the USA. However, nothing compares to the devastating consequences of the August 4th blast in Beirut, Lebanon. Not only was the explosion one of the four greatest in history, but the Lebanese do not have the economic or political infrastructure to rebuild, which means that the community is depending on the world at large to help.
They say we must not forget Beirut, and at times it is easier to remember if you are able to visual.. Remember those quaint neighborhoods of Gemeyeze and Mar Mikhail? They are badly damaged. A bustling creative hub for many designers, Slow Factory Foundation has allocated its Super Fund to the rebuilding of this creative industry specifically. A segment that is often overlooked as non-essential, although it is arguably a vital reflection of Lebanon’s unique culture.
Slow Factory’s Super Fund mission is to dispatch grants to individuals and organizations on the ground working at the intersection of human rights and environmental justice in the fashion industry and beyond. For Beirut, the plan is to deploy emergency relief funds to 39 designers and creative whose showrooms and studios are allocated in the epicenter of the damaged area and are now struggling to survive. In a single moment their livelihoods, life achievements, and businesses disappeared.
The list includes the likes of Hussein Bazaza, Azzi & Osta, Missak Hajavedikian, Krikor Jabotian to name a few. Household names that we refer to as Arab fashion success stories, people that have represented not just the Lebanese but us all in the Middle East, shedding light on the fashion, design and creative industries. When Azzi & Osta dress Beyonce, it is a regional triumph. When Missak Hajavedikian participated in UNIDO’s Jordanian Khayt fashion program he spent countless days and hours mentoring our local talent. Krikor Jabotian was the first to rush to support our first ever CIIN magazine cover, sending over a wardrobe of options to us in less than 48 hours. Hussein Bazaza came pro bono to the final Khayt event to be a judge on the panel, taking time out of his busy schedule for us as Jordanians. These are a few stories, amongst hundreds I am sure. We believe its time to give back to this beautiful country and community.
Other than the Super Fund, Slow Factory Foundation is dedicated to improving sustainable literacy in fashion, using a holistic, human-centered approach, bridging science, human rights, technology, fashion, and culture to develop products, resources, and certifications for industry and consumers alike.
To get to know Slow Factory Foundation and to donate to Super Fund, click here.