How Shimena Protects the Nature and Weaving Culture of Ethiopia
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.
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Over the last three years, we have seen community trust and respect grow alongside economic security. 60 % of the women in our raw material production and processing as well as our employees are women.
Traditionally, men are the ones who take on weaving and the production of textiles and garments as a task. Shimena wants to change these structures and also enables women to learn this ancient weaving culture.
The concept of ‘Natural Dyes’ is by no means a new one and refers to all the dyes derived from the natural sources.
Ethiopia has a long tradition of using natural sources for textile coloration, and Shimena wants to maintain and develop this ancient knowledge.
Every piece of clothing we buy has a story that connects to our own history as soon as we see and wear it for the first time. The stories that happen afterwards we know or they are not written yet, but what about the story before? And by whom was it written?
Everything starts with the procurement of the cotton; just like the dyes and almost every other raw materials, this is sourced from the local area around Abra Minch.
The challenge that I observed from the artisans is they used to spend all their earnings they got from weaving without any saving.