Darzah – A Non Profitable Ethical Palestinian brand providing employment to local women
Darzah is a project of Child’s Cup Full, a 501(c)3 non-profitable social enterprise. The idea for Child’s Cup Full began in 2008 when Dr. Janette Habashi, a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oklahoma, accompanied her students on a fundraising initiative to support grassroots education programs for refugee children in the West Bank. The local Palestinian community appreciated their assistance, but a group of mothers who looked for a long-term solution to their economic strife approached and asked Dr. Habashi if she could help them find jobs. As the local economy does not offer reliable work for women, Dr. Habashi knew that finding work for these women would be extremely challenging.
“There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish.”
After much contemplation, Dr. Habashi found that the best solution would be to create jobs for these local mothers. Thus, Child’s Cup Full was born and with it, the other two brands, Zeki Learning and Darzah.
“Find a sense of self, because with that you can do anything.” – Angelina Jolie
Darzah means “stitch” in Arabic. It is a non-profitable ethical fashion brand creating authentic, handmade Palestinian products. The embroidery style, tatreez, is a traditional art form passed down through centuries of women. The goal is to bring tatreez apparel and decor to the world in order to celebrate and preserve Palestinian heritage.
As a Fair Trade certified brand, committed to providing the employees fair working wages and conditions. The artisans are women from the West Bank who have historically endured marginalization in the form of low income, gender inequality, and lack of economic opportunities. Darzah’s mission is to economically empower these women by providing job opportunities, training, and a fair income.
“There is no force more Powerful than a women determined to rise.”
Each Darzah creation is entirely handmade by the very talented artisans in the West Bank. The team has grown to include six full-time and 22 part-time workers from Zababdeh and neighbouring regions. These women specialize in Palestinian tatreez embroidery, a traditional art form that has been passed down from mother to daughter for centuries. Every tatreez motif holds significant meaning that shares a story in each stitch.
Tatreez embroidery requires an impressive amount of skill and each motif calls for a different set of techniques. For example, the Tatreez Flats take 18 hours or more to embroider, while designs with two or more colours significantly increases the amount of time needed for a motif. Due to the intensive nature of the embroidery style, working for eight continuous hours isn’t feasible, so most of the artisans choose to work from home. This allows them the freedom to simultaneously work according to their own schedule.
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe or other successful women, who has her back.”
Darzah began with one goal in mind, empowering women in the West Bank. Each and every purchase from Darzah contributes to artisan salaries, employment programs, and job training in the West Bank. Additionally, they seek to bring tatreez apparel and decor to the world in order to celebrate and preserve Palestinian cultural heritage.
Darzah is a project of Child’s Cup Full, a non-profit initiative based in Zababdeh, a village located in the northern West Bank. Child’s Cup Full is focused on economic empowerment for women in the area through Darzah and Zeki Learning, the sister brand creating educational toys for children. Through the brands, they create lasting economic growth for Palestinian women by providing talented refugee and low-income artisans training and job opportunities.
Problems faced due conflicts are it impacted mobility for the artisans, causing every one to have issues go to the Artisans’ and even visiting suppliers. Also, shipping has been challenging but thankfully the customers are very understanding and they have received an amazing amount of support from the international community as well.
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