Stories about Shimena

The Vision

Shimena aims to preserve the, more than 2000-year-old, traditional handicraft of weaving to make it a sustainable, profitable job opportunity for this and all upcoming generations.
The company and its partners plan to realize that,
by connecting talented artisans, and hire unemployed people from the Arba Minch mountains and to provide them with training and education.
The main goal of the founder
Firew Konjo is to contribute to the wellbeing and livability of the Ethiopian community by creating employment.

Our Responsibility

Project Supported by

Our Community

Shimena is proud to be a member of the Ethiopian Fashion Community, an association of several fashion brands, located in the beautiful country of Ethiopia.

Initiated by young Ethiopian entrepreneurs and supported by some international brand specialists, they created a network of small and medium-sized textile-businesses, with complementary product categories, to generate employment.

All involved companies share the same aspects and principles: They are crafting distinctive designed fashion out of contemporary textiles, sourced in Ethiopia, and pay special attention to their social and environmental responsibility.

With a long term vision, the project will enable the brands to soon be independent of support and successfully expand their business into the world.

More and new companies might join the Ethiopian Fashion Community and will learn from each other.

This should lead to a successful, independent, organically growing group of businesses in Ethiopia, that improve the living-conditions of many families.

Other brands of the Ethiopian Fashion Community are Kabana and Enzi footwear.

Blog

We like to share our stories and keep you up to date with interesting articles about our community.

 

Video-Blog from Arba Minch Shimena Introduces Their New Collection

 

18.07.2021
A Video-Blog from Firew Konjo. Commented and summarized by L. Wecera

News from Arba Minch

In the video above, Firew Konjo, the founder of Shimena introduces himself and reveals the Workshop where Shimena creates their new collection.

Each product of the collection is made in this workshop in Abra Minch. As you can see in the video, the artisans of Shimena use traditional instruments and tools in the winding, spinning and weaving processes. The ancient looms have a high cultural but also personal value for the artisans, because some of the looms come from the family property of the artisans and are still the same tools on which their ancestors wove.

Shimena’s fight to preserve the Ethiopian weaving culture against the impacts of fast fashion industry is a great success. Through the opportunity to export their products to Europe at fair trade conditions, many jobs could be created, but the impact is even bigger, it created the awareness that these unique cultural goods are valued all over the world and offer a promising prospect to the whole country.

The New Collection from Shimena

For the new collection, Shimena selected three particular products:

A small scarf that provides warmth in the transitional seasons or on chilly summer evenings and can be combined in various ways. 

 

A big shawl for colder days. As everyone knows, large shawls are in fashion and for many fashion-conscious women, the scarves can not be big enough. So we decided to create a huge one with the measurements 75 to 200 centimeters.

A poncho. Sewn together from two panels of fabric and decorated with subtle embroidered elements characteristic of the region around Abra Minch. 

The products will be available soon in different patterns and colors.

How Firew Konjo Advises Shimenas Artisans How to Save Money

11.06.2021
A blog article written by Shimena founder Firew Konjo.

The challenge that I observed from the artisans is they used to spend all their earnings they got from weaving without any saving.

The other problem the artisans have is the lack of the habit of saving and proper costing that kept them; they got a big order and did not have money to buy raw materials. They were not able to get loans from anyone.

They were not able to meet the order and thus lost the business. This was a big learning experience and from that time onwards I have started saving schemes that all artisans are engaged in and setting proper costing. Currently, artisans have enough savings to fulfill any orders.

In addition to this we add 20 % of their savings that helps them to open small retail shops for women and the men construct big residences for their family as well as to weave inside their house that protects them from rain when they weave outside.

I have also taught other artisans to do the same and those working for other companies.

 

– Firew Konjo

Shimena Artisan work together

How Shimena Protects the Nature and Weaving Culture of Ethiopia

01.05.2021
A blog article written by Shimena founder Firew Konjo.

I have worked in creating lucrative livelihood for young artisans that were abandoning the tradition of weaving to quick income jobs like charcoal production, fuel wood business and similar activities.

It has also curbed the migration of young people to the capital city with the opportunity of engaging in exploitative and illegal activities.

The enterprise also has helped to save the traditional skill transformation and preserve the art of weaving by developing modern use and upgrading the products.

Also, I want to change the perception of young weavers that they look down on the weaving art as a low paying job, and the community to view that weaving is a respective, marketable and lucrative business.


– Firew Konjo