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Hul le Kes visiting Lebanon

July 24, 2023

Next to making nice products within our circular system Hul le Kes works on education and helping people to get ready for a (new) working environment. Last week we have been using our skills and knowledge to help a social enterprise in Lebanon to do the same. Our managing director Sebastiaan and pattern maker Rima, who is originally from Lebanon herself, have been at FabricAID last week. In this news post we explain more about this social enterprise and how Hul le Kes is involved.

FabricAID is a social enterprise founded by Omar Itani in 2017. He started this enterprise because of the simple fact that he was not able to give his own clothes a new purpose. By then Lebanon had no parties to collect clothes/textiles from people at all, meaning every garment would be thrown away just like all other trash. He decided to collect clothes and give, and sell for no more than $ 1, them to people within Lebanon who could not afford new clothes. It was this simple idea that made FabricAID grow towards a social enterprise that is collecting, giving/selling second hand clothes within Lebanon and Jordan.

Since there have always been clothes that were not sellable due to stains, holes or other defects FabricAID was still left with some rejected textiles. This made them start upcycling facilities and education for vulnerable youth. It is at this upcycling facility within FabricAID where Hul le Kes became involved. As within the Netherlands Hul le Kes has lots of experience examining student tailors and with upcycling textiles we flew over to Lebanon. For a week Sebastiaan has been examining their students and both Sebastiaan and Rima have been working on the upcycling skills within their production facility.

FabricAID’s main goal is to bring people from vulnerable backgrounds, both Lebanese and Syrans living in Lebanon, towards paid jobs. One of the ways they are doing this is by educating vulnerable youth towards a tailor. After their education they are offered jobs within manufacturing companies in Lebanon, or at the upcycling facility of FabricAID itself. To make sure the work of these students is on an international level Hul le Kes was asked to grade the exams of their students. Sebastiaan has been involved with exams at Rijn IJssel in Arnhem for years, and has been advising on national level on examining tailors in the Netherlands. With this knowledge he has been grading the students in Lebanon too. He has been very happy with the results of the students at FabricAID and 16 out of 19 students passed their exams.

Next to examining the students Hul le Kes made the first steps towards a close collaboration in upcycling clothes. Rima and Sebastiaan have been exploring the possibilities within FabricAID’s upcycling facility. First samples have been made by their tailors and first steps have been taken towards exciting new developments together with them. This way Hul le Kes wants to make sure that it’s not only the Western society that is able to work on upcycling goals but also, in this case, the Middle East. Because the problem of textile waste is a global problem that should globally be solved. Next to that Hul le Kes thinks it is important to help people towards paid jobs, not only for them to be able to buy their basic needs but also for a person’s self esteem.


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