Partnerships with local craftswomen
There are many local craftswomen on the island, traditionally they have worked in their spare time to produce products for tourists, however now tourism is suffering post revolution and the products have no market available in Egypt. In addition to this the prices charged by the local women (in contrast to some of the market traders selling cheap Chinese crap in the souk), are unsustainable as an independent business – they charge too little for their labour as it is a secondary income stream, this undervalues their work and makes it inviable as a means of income for those whose husband is not earning.
Yara and Lamia took 2 different approaches with the women, to begin to explore new business opportunities with the women.
Lamia, brought a hammock from Cairo, having identified a market for them. She invested in some materials and showed them the pattern. The women took her shopping in the marker for materials and taught her about the local rates, and negotiating a good price. 3 days later, the first products are ready to collect.
Yara, brought some upcycled plastic products she sells in Cairo and ran a workshop with some local women. She prototyped a reusable shopping bag (to reduce waste on island), and set up collection points with her collaborators on the island.
During the workshop, some of the women added their own knowledge to the mix, making a stronger material from the waste.
The women are now working on new designs for Yara to buy and sell in Cairo.
This activity was a part of Felucca Festival 2: A Marriage of Makers