Sustainable businesses within the UAE are growing despite pandemics!
By Najia Qazi
An opportunity already exists and with the pandemic there is a phenomenal growth of Sustainable business within Dubia, UAE. It is transforming the business ecosystems that we participate especially in times of COVID-19.
Sustainable Narrative decided to host The Digital Sustainability Week for the month of September (20th to 27th Sept 2020) to highlight on the real stories narrated by entrepreneurs, designers, and founders focusing on Design and Fashion within the region. This virtual event provided an incredible opportunity to highlight on Sustainability : Design & Fashion within Dubai, UAE.
The conscious and environment friendly customers or audience do care about sustainability as their quest for seeking knowledge regarding green-washing, environmental impact and over-consumption continues by being included in the ongoing conversation within the current design industry.
How have these small businesses been fighting pandemics’ time focusing on sustainability?
A new mindset for business is the way to go forward especially in times of COVID-19. The primary aim is to think of fresh ways to tackle the issues at hand. By incorporating the regenerative business mindset that includes the process of restoration, renewal of the current resources, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature.
COVID is sadly affecting so many people in adverse ways. We are helping people in Dubai and abroad through our work. Locally, we are offering a cheaper alternative for buying clothing and other fashion items. As many people are leaving Dubai, we are also saving so many items from the landfills by offering a free collection / drop off service.
Unfortunately, many businesses are cutting back their CSR dollars, which means that charitable programs internationally are facing severe funding cuts. We are raising funds for children’s charities around the world in partnership with Gulf for Good. We are helping children’s homes and impoverished communities stay afloat in a time where other funding has disappeared.Jennifer Sault, Thrift for good
During the pandemics, we are all taking a break from our busy lives, things are very uncertain in every aspect. But looking at the positive side, we all have TIME in our hands. Life isn’t as fast as before yet. We are focusing on that aspect and started telling our brand story. People have the time to listen. We are talking about our weavers, tailors, showing our process of production and our sustainability practices. This approach has proved to be successful and we were heard.Vino Supraja
For me this time has been used for reflection and rethinking of how I wish to continue with my work within sustainable fashion. It’s always useful to slow down and consider if your work is aligning with your long term vision.Noorin Khamisani, Outsider
My strong belief in the power of narrative has helped me evolve as a person and a brand. Thus our project ‘Hunar-Mard’ focused on sharing the story of men in the fashion industry, in Pakistan, working hard in what appears to be a woman-centric Industry. It also talks about Covid-19’s effect on their small businesses. We have always been interested in raising voice for something meaningful like sustainability in fashion and lifestyle, and have been actively taking part in projects that speak of it.Shahbano Shahbaz, IMPRESARIO
We thought that COVID-19 made our Plant breathes again and revive, but the plastic dream was sold to us, the idea that by wrapping our face, body parts, food, and cutlery would protect us from pandemics. The reality is that we went backwards in all the efforts to fight single use. We realized that the conscious consumer is a key. This is where GreenFootprintUAE came to play an important role of bringing together consumers, industries and government in improving impacts on local economy, society and environment.Jelena Lefavrais, GreenFootprintUAE
How can the UAE consumers act sustainably?!
The aim is to promote the concept of Sustainability; not just as a popular or current trend; but rather as a lifestyle worth embracing, most importantly in the walks of design, fashion & art. As well as to search for a personal answer to the question: In this socially and environmentally challenging times for design, what would be my individual approach to contributing to more sustainable practices?
“It is the little things that we do that make a difference. One of the most important habits we can make is acknowledging that our dollar is our vote and therefore cultivating shopping habits that support ethical business.“
“Sustainability should not be seen as a trend, it is a need of the hour. Let us think about the kind of earth we want to leave back to our children and act responsibly. Please buy garments because are necessary and they are special and not just because they are cheap. Let us all become conscious customers and make this world greener.” Vino Supraja
“I hope everyone can use this time to consider their own values, what do you care about? When you make a purchase, is the brand aligned with your beliefs? Consider doing more research before making a purchase. Find the independent fashion designers that are working in a responsible and conscious way. And most importantly, only buy something new if you really need it, the most sustainable fashion is already in your wardrobe.”, Noorin Khamisani Outsider
“GreenFootprint supports ethical and sustainable businesses. Our goal is to become the biggest marketplace for sustainable initiatives, products, and services in the UAE. We wish to show alternatives to single use plastics and business as usual. Today, we feature over 200 eco-friendly businesses and products and this number keeps growing. Anyone can make a listing for free in only a couple of clicks. ” Jelena Lefavrais GreenFootprintUAE