It was the first week of the corona pandemic and every one started to frantically call their families and loved ones to check if they are safe. On a call with my brother, I asked him to send me a picture of his new born baby. When I received the picture, I cried. And it is because I was feeling so much empathy towards her and my other nieces and nephews along with all the children of this generation for the kind of world we have left them with. It was only two months since this baby was brought into this world filled with unusual viruses, pollution and catastrophic environmental issues.
My areas of activism have always been around the topics of women’s rights and human rights, but I never was an environmental enthusiast/ activist. However, pondering on the topic, isn’t it a human right to be born into a world that is safe and clean and not selfishly damaged by past generations?
In design thinking class in Kingston University, I have learnt the IDEOU design thinking process and that is to empathise with people’s problems, and define them and then ideate and find solutions accordingly. I have empathised with all the young generation that is locked up at home unable to live normal lives and play in the outdoors and unable to express how they feel about it, let alone understand it. I have empathised with the adults who have been diligent in doing good to this world and are now feeling helpless in the face of the current circumstances and I am empathising with the socioeconomic situation ahead of us. This is making me define and emphasise the problem.
The COVID19 outbreak has made me rethink how me and my businesses have played an impact on the environment and what changes and adjustments I can make to better the future of this world. This is the ideation phase.
I have explored all angles from the work process to my product line and manufacturing and considered socioeconomic factors as well as environmental factors and I can now say that sustainability will be incorporated as primary goal in the future of my brand.
Commencing with the prototype, I have ordered some eco-friendly fabric to test them for the next production line from a local supplier called Offset Warehouse, and since they don’t come in black colour, I decided to buy some natural fabric dye and try to dye them myself.
As for the wallet I am working on, I am in contact with some mid to high end manufacturers asking them for their leather waste so that I can recycle it into the beautiful new product design.
I am also trying to make my Casablanca t-shirt line more affordable and reduce their mark up. I can do so by removing them from shops and selling them directly to consumers. This way I don’t have to add the wholesale mark up.
In order to increase traction to my online shop and also promote the movement of sustainability, I am working on transforming the platform into a shop that sells a selection of curated sustainable products for your home including my own line.
As for the interior design service that I offer, I have been studying and reading heavily on the topic of sustainability in interior design and biophilic design and discovering the many techniques we can do to reverse the impact of global warming.
These are vows to myself that I will work my hardest to achieve in the next coming months and once the quarantine/lockdown is lifted and the corona pandemic is over. The online shop will go through 6 months of testing time and if the new business model works, I will work on its growth.