ABURY - beyond fashion - a modern world crafts and heritage project

ABURY - beyond fashion - a modern world crafts and heritage project

Atlas mountains, MoroccoBerlin, Germany
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ABURY combines the desire for style and ethics, exclusiveness and sustainability in a unique and innovative concept. ABURY seeks, preserves and connects exclusive, authentic handicrafts from all over the world and combines it with modern design and distribution – unique and original handmade designs, desirable fashion items with a real history and meaning. An intercultural value creation project.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

All over the world the knowledge of old crafts is getting lost because modern massproduction is taking over. Many of the old craftsmen and -women esp. in developing countries can't live of their art. young people don't learn it anymore and we, as a world community loose a lot of wisdom, knowledge and values - and these cultures loose much of their identity. So we have incredible skills and at the same time great poverty and low education. The project is to: help them to earn their living with their traditional skills in their traditional environment combine the tradition with modern design establish schools that teach the skills to the younger generation give 50% of the profits back to support education and community projects (teacher who teaches how to read and write, books...)

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

It’s a global initiative to discover, celebrate and support the most talented and entrepreneurial craftspeople in the world. The project will be helping craftspeople to interconnect and take their work to the next level through the support in design, sales and education in modern communication. Firstly we identify the masters of the old crafts and put them together with international designers to work with them on product development - so that they start using their crafts knowledge to produce products that are desirable for our world. We create schools where the old craftswomen educate the young ones - and we give them already a perspective in offering them to work for ABURY after they have finished the free of cost education. ABURY is the platform and channel that communicates and sells the beauty and the art of the works to the world and that creates a desire for the products. 50% of the profits will be given back through the ABURY Foundation to realise community projects.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

ABURY-beyond fashion kicked off with the “BerberBags”, traditionally handcrafted vintage leather bags from Morocco. Each of the up to 80-year-old bags is a unique and individually embroidered item; a small piece of artwork. This fascinating handicraft is at risk of extinction due to industrial mass production. Therefore, ABURY used the profits of the sales of the vintage bags to finance local sewing schools to ensure a new generation of sewers to safeguard this tradition. In cooperation with Moroccan artisans and international designers, we have developed first products- the ABURY berber ipadbag, the berberclutch and the berber iphonebag. This is a fascinating antipode - a traditional handcrafted bag - a piece of art - is covering our western worlds gadgets. We want to show that this doesn't have to be a contradiction - but a true crossing boarders project with a meaning. Moreover, each bag comes with a Berber fairytale. These fairytales reflect the ancient culture and wisdom of the Berbers. A storyteller has collected and recorded these fairytales from the village elders. Each BerberBag thus becomes an ambassador of its culture. ABURY therefore supports the preservation of cultural variety and creates the opportunities for people to earn a living through the traditional capital of their culture. 50% of the profits plus donations given directly to the ABURY foundation have given us the opportunity to create the schools and e.g. the support of building a well. Moreover we have managed to not be seen as a development project but to be a design and luxury brand.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Several fashion brands are starting with handcrafted fashion designs of development countries - like beloved beadwork in Africa or Fashion for Development in Bangladesh. They also support local craftsmen and women and sell their works to to the world. Challenge is to communicate the difference. What differentiates us from them is: -the business model: 50% of the profits go back and help the communities to improve their living conditions and education - the creation of completely new and modern products - the vision of having a platform for modern crafts of the world - the vision to interconnect these crafts men and to create intercutural value - the communication I think there is a huge demand for high class unique and handmade products with a meaning in our world and
Team

Founding Story

5 years ago I moved to Marrakesh to renovate a Riad (classic house in the old part of town). We were working with local artisans and the idea was to renovate the riad without using electric tools - like it was built 200 years ago. I dived into the local artisan and craftsmen scene and realised that craftsmen are mostly old and poor - and that young people are not interested in keeping the tradition as they don't have a perspective to earn enough money and survive. and I remembered that the UN says (2001): "Cultural preservation is as important to human mankind as ecological preservation" Then I got one of these old berberbags and took it back o Germany - all of my friends went crazy - "I want to have one too!" "wow - this is amazing" etc. So I thought -you only have to bring the two worlds together and we will have a win-win situation - on the one hand people will have unique, never-seen-before-products and craftsmen will have a perspective to earn their living with their skills!
About You
Organization:
ABURY Collection GmbH
About You
First Name

Andrea

Last Name

Kolb

About Your Organization
Organization Name

ABURY Collection GmbH

Organization Country

, Berlin

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MRK, Atlas mountains

Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator

Female

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Innovation
How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

We have built a sewing school in the atlas mountains, Douar Anzal and educated 20 women in leather embroidery
and have given work to them so that the women can support the family and secure that children go to school and that they have enough food. Moreover they were able to renovate their community salon with the money they have earned.
We have given the possibility to local artisans in Marrakesh to earn a living through working regularly with us - this is for two families so far.
We have supported the building of a well in the community in cooperation with Ingenieurs sans borders (NGO).
We have provided telecom possibilities so that we can communicate with the people all the time.
We have started a school library with books for kids to support school education.
Moreover we have risen awareness for the subject in Germany through talks and had about 30 press articles in publications like Vogue, ELLE, Instyle, Quality magazine, Gala Style as well as social business magazines

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

We will integrate education in reading and writing as well as in how to use a computer to give the women a possibility to be more independent.
It is projected to educate another 100 women in Morocco within the next 2 years and build more schools. This with have an impact to more than 1000 people within the families and communities. We already had about 80 applications for the school in the first community we are working with.

Moreover we will expand the project within the next three years to 2-3 more cultures in the world - at the moment we talk about and with cultures in Argentina, Usbekistan and Bangladesh.

We will expand the internet presence to make more people aware of the project and expand sales to Europe and the world.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

One barrier is quality management in the countries and firstly in Morocco - we have to secure the standard of quality we have started with. Therefore we are currently establishing a production company in Morocco and do interviews with people who can oversee the production on a regular basis and help people to understand our idea of quality.

Secondly it is sales - we have to create a strong sales network and strengthen the internet performance of our website. Therefore we are just working on the re-launch of the website and on an SEO and marketing plan with some experts from India. Moreover we will have to be present in more shops in Europe and worldwide - therefore we will be present at international fashion fairs and work with professionals who will represent the brand.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Increase sales through strengthening internet platform, marketing and communication

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Re-launch website with the best shop software available

Task 2

Realise SEO and internet / social media marketing

Task 3

Be present at international fashion fairs like Premium in Berlin and Dasign Venice

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Increase production facilities and quality management

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Create moroccan production company

Task 2

Hire local quality management staff

Task 3

Intensify and establish communication procedures with production staff

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

1. We do have partnerships with 8 luxury boutiques in Germany, one in Zurich, one in Bozen and one in New York who sell our products already (like abseits in stuttgart, lila in Hamburg, dory & grey in Karlsruhe, ABC Home and Carpets in New York)
2. Partnership with companies for exclusive editions (in process of finalizing with 2 companies) - exclusive design of products
3. Partnership with Astraia - Female leadership foundation - we will start a charity activity to raise money for a teacher project
4. "Enfants en danger" - ralley - the austrian team will raise money for a well

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list