2020 is coming to an end, and we can all agree that it was a year unlike any other.
A year we have spent anxiously waiting, adapting, changing, protecting, fearing and ultimately picking ourselves up one too many times.
2020 is a reminder that what is going to get to you will get to you just as sure as a fired bullet cannot be derailed from its course. The best you can do is take the blow, get hit, fall, hurt and get back up.
Countless times this year, and since the very first lockdown, we’ve had to answer questions about the future of fashion, the fashion industry post-pandemic. Every time we answered that the only way forward is by adopting more sustainable practices, from a business and a consumer’s point of view, ultimately narrowing it down to the importance of localism, or circular economy, and pointing out the importance of designing and producing with whatever resources you have available in your direct surroundings.
We launched our brand more than two years ago now, and since the very first collection, we’ve set out to prove that is indeed possible for the fashion industry to be more sustainable, more ethical in its treatment of garment workers and more environmentally conscious in its production practices. The mere fact that we’re still up-and-running after this devastating year, goes to show that a business built on values and ethics can hardly be shaken.
This year, we were shortlisted amongst the finalists of two major fashion competitions held in the Arab region, the Fashion Trust Arabia and the Vogue Fashion Prize. While we may not have won, we were amazed to realize that conversations about sustainability, about creative independence and about the role of culture in the development of an identity are very much alive and blazing. It has been an honor for us to be part of these events, to represent a whole set of ideas, of thoughts and an entire community of like-minded people in the highest ranks of the fashion industry.
It also got us thinking of the power of coming together, and of the great things we could achieve as people, as artists and as an industry if we simply chose to look out for one another instead of bringing each other down.
If you’re reading this you’re a survivor, a survivor of a year unlike any other. For wherever you are in the world you’ve survived a health crisis, and if you were in Lebanon you’ve survived the downfall of a nation. And if you were anywhere near Beirut on the 4th of August, you’ve survived a deadly blast caused by a failed and corrupt state.
And as survivors, what have we got but ourselves and each other, to bring down an archaic world built on notions of greed, power and toxic patriarchal systems. And we’ll only do so by pushing through, sticking to the ideal foundations we’ve set, year after year, a project after another.
Thank you for joining us in our fight, thank you for being a part of our story, thank you for encouraging us, with words or actions, through what will hopefully be remembered as the year of our common awakening.
Eric Mathieu Ritter.