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From the Founder: Sustainability

We don’t take sustainability lightly, and don’t claim we’re 100% sustainable. But we at SOUKRA are nonetheless conscious about the social, economic and environmental impact of our work, and have made (and will continue to make) choices that get us closer to being more sustainable.

Made to last – At a time when there is over consumption of land and resources, we want to reduce our impact on the planet’s resources. We at SOUKRA and the designers we carry offer designs that are based on years of savoir-faire, made in small quantities, and made to be cherished for a lifetime, from Flaÿou’s earthenware boardgames, to Anissa Aida’s timeless pieces that are designed to be worn year after year. In her blog post about embracing the Slow Fashion Movement, Anissa Aida writes:

My products carry a cultural meaning by reinterpreting ancestral traditions that are slowly getting lost, such as the hand-weaving of silk. My pieces are ethical through the choice of materials, the collaboration with artisans and the methods of production, while being minimal and timeless to answers the needs of a modern, nomadic woman.

Packaging – In 2020, we committed to using 100% recycled paper and cardboard made in the US. We now order from Ecoenclose, the eco-friendly packaging and shipping supplies company, and Nashville Wraps recycled tissue and recycled boxes. In addition, we reuse packaging from boxes that are shipped to us. If plastic bubblewrap is in your package, it’s being reused from a previous shipment, and we recommend you do the same. The packing peanuts used for shipping food products and fragile items are biodegradable (made of wheat or cornstarch) and will dissolve in water.

Reuse and upcycle – The reuse of materials is an important way to reduce waste. El Mensej is a community-based initiative that embraces upcycling while creating new economic opportunities for craftswomen. The team of female weavers source their materials from the “fripe,” or thrift markets, in the southwestern town of Nefta. They wash and unravel the cotton and wool from second-hand clothing, and weave them into durable rugs and pillows on looms installed at their home that do not use any energy or water. Once completed, the team taps into transit systems already in place, such as buses and shared taxis or vans, to transport them around the country.

Human value – Human rights and social equity are critical to the movement for a more sustainable future. The designers we carry all work closely with the artisan communities across Tunisia, creating inclusive economic opportunities, sustaining local savoir-faire and fostering financial independence.

Resources and Reading:
The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
UN’s Human Rights and Sustainable Development
Vanessa Friedman, “What was Fasion Doing at COP26?” The New York Times, November 17, 2021.

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