How Fashion Brand Darzah Is Building On Tradition To Empower Women in The West Bank

Darzah is a non-profit fashion brand that specializes in Palestinian or “tatreez” embroidery. It is an ancient art form that is passed on from mother to daughter. Their pieces are all hand- embroidered in the West Bank. They aim to create economic opportunities for refugee and low-income women artisans while celebrating cultural heritage and traditions.

Read on to find out more about this inspirational brand and what they do:

Story Behind The Brand

Founded by Jeanette Habashi, Darzah is a non-profit organization that seeks to support women in Palestine. Her story is quite an interesting one. It all started in 2009 when she was a professor at Oklahoma University and had gathered donations while doing her job and then took her students to Jerusalem, where they donated the money to a school.

The student’s parents started asking her for jobs, and that’s when she founded Darzah. Her brand beautifully brings together the north and south of Palestine. The leather pieces, such as the bags and shoes, etc., are made in Hebron, which is in the south, whereas low-income women and refugees do the embroidery in Zababdeh, which is in the north of the country. Jeanette works day and night to ensure that her brand is run ethically and in the best possible manner, without pocketing any of the money. Her goal is now to train the women in the north of Palestine so they can continue it.

History And Tradition Of Tatreez Embroidery

Tatreez embroidery originated in Palestine more than 3,000 years ago. It plays a significant role for Palestinians and helps preserve their cultural heritage. This form of embroidery is unique, where various colored threads are joined together in different patterns to make traditional motifs. Each of these motifs is symbolic of special events, such as weddings, pregnancy, etc. The colors used also represent different life stages, such as green being worn by a young woman. What makes it even more intriguing is that it is a female-led art in which the skills are passed on from women to women from each generation, preserving the age-old skills and knowledge.

Training for Palestinian girls begins when they are six or seven years old. It consumes a large chunk of time as well as labor. Therefore, it was a kind of schooling for girls and women. It is also a sort of representation of womanhood in the culture.

Child’s Cup Full is a non-profit organization that provides training and job opportunities for talented refugee and low-income artisan women in Palestine. It is based in Zababdeh village on the West Bank. However, it is managed in the US. The company provides women with long-lasting economic opportunities.

Mission

The brand’s mission is to transform economic opportunities for women in the West Bank so that every single Palestinian woman can earn a fair working wage. The goal is to empower historically marginalized Palestinian women by creating employment opportunities for them. Every dollar spent is used to provide work to Palestinian women.

Programs

They have two operations; the Zeki Process and Darzah. The Zeki Process involves the sale and manufacturing of children’s toys. These toys are made by refugee women trained throughout the program, and they are also paid. Furthermore, proceeds from these sales go towards enhancing childhood development and education programs.

These toys are not only educational but also eco-friendly. These women carefully craft each toy. When you purchase one of these reasonably-priced toys, you are essentially paying for the training of these women and the education of the children. Supporting it can help break the cycle of poverty in the West Bank. The toys are sold online and in stores in the US. The demand for these toys is high, which is why they need to build their workforce.

The second program is already spoken about earlier in this blog. The Darzah Program is a non-profit fashion brand that specializes in ‘tatreez’ (Palestinian embroidery).

How Can You Get Involved?

If you want to get involved, there are many ways you can do so. For instance, you can start by interning with them. They are looking to hire interns with diverse skill sets from around the US. Although the internship isn’t paid, it will definitely help with academic credit.

If you want to go a step further, you can partner with them on a project using the Darzah or Zeki learning products.

Simple donations are also a way of helping out, so if you can’t manage to do the above two and want to donate, that’s welcome too! Your contribution can help these artisans create a better future for themselves and their families.

Products

 

Their featured products include various goods from clutches, crossbody’s, and tote bags to a variety of shoes; flats, oxfords, boots, and sandals made with gorgeous tatreez embroidery. They also have many home decoration products, such as coasters, bookmarks, napkin rings, aprons, pillows, etc. Their products are edgy and have the most beautiful intricate patterns and designs embroidered on them. The colors used are also vibrant and will stand out from miles apart. They’ll add a vibe to your home and outfits, so don’t hesitate to buy them because they are truly one-of-a-kind with great attention to detail.

 

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