#BornAgain is a Jordanian initiative with heart and a lot of sensibility. Spearheaded by Jordan Fashion Week’s founder and director Shirene Rifai , the original concept was a knee jerk response to protecting the artisanal communities gravely impacted by COVID; something had to be done. Since its establishment over three years ago now, Jordan Fashion Week has committed to a multi-tiered approach to Jordanian fashion, with the intention of supporting everyone involved in the local fashion industry; from designers, to local artisans, tailors and even factories. The platform serves as a crossroads through which connections can be created, and networks forged. With the abrupt stop of the local fashion and tourism industries, Jordan Fashion Week gave birth to a valuable conscious initiative, named #BornAgain.
The concept; the creation of fashionable face masks not only secured much needed work for the women of the SitatByoot community project, but also involved local fashion designers on a number of levels. This created an energetic movement that would make a difference on the short and long run. The idea was to encourage designers to donate their left-over fabrics to the initiative. Instead of going to waste, these fabrics were (born again) and fashioned into face masks by the Jordan Fashion Week team and then produced by the women of SitatByoot. The finished products; more than 100 styles in total were then uploaded on the SitatByoot e-shop. The masks are delivered to the customers free of charge by local delivery service Sendget . A selection of masks are also available for sale at two local outlets, Readers Bookshop and Airportray Amman .
As time passes, and we come to terms with the fact that wearing a face mask is something we will be sporting throughout 2020 and comfortably into 2021 the additional element of reusability, not only of the fabrics, but also of the mask itself comes into play. We cannot really protect ourselves by harming the environment with single use face masks.. and of course add to that the issue of littering, and suddenly #BornAgain takes on yet another role, this time environmental. Perhaps another less vital role is that of fashion.. In order to encourage people to wear the face mask, it needs to be relatable and relevant to our daily lives.. the 100 styles created by #BornAgain are sure to stoke the fancy of a wide range of tastes. The impact of social responsibility is always measured by repeat customers. People may buy one in support of a project, but it is in the repeat sales that a project becomes viable and sustainable.
With social responsibility and giving back to the community as the focal point of the initiative, #BornAgain is also built on the sound environmental values of recycling, reusing, reducing, in addition to the promotion of ethical fashion through the empowerment of artisan women across Jordan. The collaboration with SitatByoot having proven successful and valuable to both parties, serves as the starting point to the ambitious project which intends to create future networks with other vulnerable local communities. Of the many theories that have been confirmed by the pandemic, one of them is the importance of community. Although we are more socially distanced than ever before, we have finally come to terms with the fact that we can no longer operate in our individual silos. We must come together to create true positive change, and this couldn’t be more evident than in the world of fashion.