STAND Up!: Draped evening dresses and bag patchworks created by upcycling handmade blankets in Tunisia

Lami Mode

The creation of a clothing collection based on natural fibers and dyes. This is the main idea behind Lami Mode, a recent business brand in Tunisia that is receiving support from STAND Up! within the incubation phase, with the aim of protecting the cultural heritage from the country while offering sustainable fashion items. “We opt for a zero waste production and the recovery of our articles at the end of their life, with the concept of upcycling”, shares Lamia Hamrouni, the female entrepreneur who cofounded this start-up.

She is a clothing technician, fashion designer and craftswoman in tailor-made haute couture. Hamrouni has worked with great stylists in Tunisia with whom she acquired a rich experience. Together with her natural dye artisan sister, Asma Hamrouni, they both launched their own brand which is shedding light to some of the problems that Tunisian society is facing.

The low employment opportunities in the Mediterranean region for artisan tailors and craftswomen is one of the issues that Lami Mode aims at tackling. In this sense, rural women and young graduates challenge few chances in the textile sector, linked to a low-rated cultural heritage which in the present times is not valued. At this stage, Lami Mode is willing to enhance the value of craft skills in the public conversation at the same time than ensuring financial autonomy for vulnerable women and young graduates in the industry.

The support of STAND Up! along the incubation phase aims at supporting and helping them, together with 6 projects selected in Tunisia, to seize the business opportunities that will be generated by the green evolution. “It’s undertaking a wide range of actions, including training, financial grants, market stimulation, technology transfer or protection of intellectual property rights”, explains Hamrouni referring to the help given by the project.

In this regard, Lami Mode received a series of training sessions during the last spring and summer period where they learnt how to shape their green business model, set up their goals and synthesize their mission and vision. They received training through The platform, in the framework of the Switchmed methodology developed by the Regional Activity Center for Sustainable Production and Consumption (SCP/RAC).

The Tunis International Center for Environmental Technologies (CITET), a Tunisian partner in the project, has been in charge of both the training and incubation phase. As per now, Lami Mode lacks of the necessary raw material to produce more clothing items and a low funding structure. Among the materials needed, they search for handwoven natural fibre fabric ready for dyeing and dye plants.

Nevertheless, they are producing coats, kachabias, capes and other products out of old traditional handwoven blankets, which have been upcycled to create comfortable and easy-to-wear clothes as such. Lami Mode is also creating draped evening dresses and bag patchworks, always using a slow fashion approach in their designs.