Designers, Fashion, Latest, Uncategorized

7 Cool Fashion Brands That Empower Pakistani Women

Shop for yourself and your fellow women

By Shanal Kazi

We are officially OVER the monotony of lawn. Who wants to dish 10-11k to look like everyone else and make rich textile mill owners even richer? It’s 2017 and it’s time to think more responsibly, and ethically, about everything we consume and that includes being mindful about your daily choice of attire.

There is truly no better fashion, than fashion that gives back, and luckily we’ve been discovering some super stylish Pakistani labels that do exactly that! These brands are now employing and empowering female artisans in rural communities across the country to create unique outfits and accessories that are worthy of your attention. In fact, many of these not only employ women, but are run by women as well.

Women’s Own has researched and explored seven such online businesses led by female entrepreneurs that you should look into now!

Coiled by Zehra

If you’re looking for funky jewelry with a tribal, boho feel, then look no further! Coiled by Zehra is where you can find bold statement necklaces made out of recycled textile and beaded tassels.

Here’s a bonus: The prices are super reasonable!

Zehra personally designs each piece with her team which consists of rural female artisans in Jamshoro, Sindh whom she seeks to empower and promote by providing them marketable linkage to their craft.

Looking good and feeling good never felt this good before!

You can find the brand here.

Integrated People

Sarah Khatri is the mastermind and creative lead at Integrated People, an initiative started by college students for female artisans in Lyari – an area in Karachi notorious for its street crimes and gang warfare.

During the 2012 floods in Sindh, the team designed bracelets made out of the plastic bag litter found around settlements. These bracelets were made by flood victims themselves and had a twofold advantage. The drive not only made fashionable­ accessories as a byproduct, but cleaned the area which was littered with plastic bags. All proceeds collected from the bracelets went to the flood victims.

This online brand offers hip beaded clutches to tribal jewelry – all designed by the women of Lyari.

You can find the brand here.

Tali Karachi

Tali’s Creative Director Sadiqa Hussain Tayebaly’s mission is to create and design products which tell us the story of the craftswomen behind it. The brand uses recycled local material and traditional designs for its diverse and rustic product line consisting of block printed scarves and accessories.

Proceeds from her products are utilized in trainings to develop female artisan master trainers to ensure promotion of craft and talent represented by marginalized populations in Pakistan.

You can find the brand here.

 Cut The Posh

This San Francisco based brand is led by Rahat, who is a corporate marketer turned social entrepreneur. She designs a small collection of western clothing and accessories every season. The designs are executed by female artisans from villages in Punjab, who bring their traditional aesthetic to every piece a “boho chic” feel. Our favourite pieces are the flowy long and short dresses – perfect for your next tropical getaway.

You can find the brand here.

Inaaya Online

Inaaya is a luxury fashion brand, which focuses on empowering female artisans by promoting their ethnic crafts. Naushaba Brohi – the founder and former media maven – works closely with female artisans in Khairpur to use traditional crafts to create contemporary designs. She calls this “rural entrepreneurship”.

Their fusion pieces are to die for, especially the hip off shoulder Baatin surf kaftan, which is a mix of flowy Irish linen silhouette embellished with a handcrafted rilli border. Get your hands on Inaaya’s collection online and empower the women working behind it!

Find the brand here.

Blocked by Afsheen Numair

Afsheen Numair works with craftswomen in rural Sindh and Punjab to bring us prints that we can’t find elsewhere. Their latest collections titled, ‘Of The Earth’ and ‘Kingri’ incorporates design aesthetics borrowed from the Mughal empire with a touch of wandering gypsies here and there. Edgy, ethnic, and traditional, is the vibe you get from her latest collection which makes use of the ancient textile work.

Their whites (especially the peshwas) are a must-have if you love to go all out desi!

Find the brand here.

S Jo Accessories

This brand was started by Central Saint Martin’s Textile Design graduate, Seher Mirza, after she led extensive design workshops with female artisans in Sindh for her thesis.  Her Bohemian inspired jewelry is fascinating, bold, and a must-have.

Pair a statement pink handmade ethnic ombre necklace with black tank top and flow-y palazzos for the perfect beach outfit!

While all the other brands mostly decide on a colour palette themselves, this brand lets the female artisans pick their own colour compositions, empowering them in more than one way! This is what we call social entrepreneurship!

Find the brand here.