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Collection: Darzah - Ethical Fashion from Palestine

Handmade

100% Handmade



Each Darzah creation is made from start to finish by our talented artisans in the West Bank, Palestine. Our team has now grown to include 6 full-time artisans and 22 part-time artisans from Zababdeh and its neighboring villages.  Our artisans specialize Palestinian "tatreez" embroidery, a centuries-old art form, historically passed down from mother to daughter. Traditionally, each embroidery motif holds  significant meaning. In this way, Tatreez embroidery is something of a Palestinian cultural phenomenon, sharing stories through every stitch.

   



Each Tatreez piece requires an impressive amount of skill. Some products, such as our Tatreez Flats, take 18 hours or more to embroider, depending on size. Due to the demanding nature of Tatreez embroidery, working for 8 continuous hours is virtually impossible. Typically, the artisans choose to work from home, which allows them to simultaneously care for their families. This model is made possible by our lead artisan, Rahaf. She is our go-to for product development and coordination, specializing in sourcing, sampling, color coordination, and project management.  

 

 

Each design and motif requires different techniques and materials, which impacts the time and skill required. For example, designs with 2 or more colors significantly increase the amount of time it takes to complete the embroidery process. The majority of our designs are embroidered on an evenweave cloth that facilitates evenly spaced stitching. When working with finer fabrics, such as silks and linens, the process is more involved. A gridded fabric must be secured to the finer fabric before the embroidery can be added. Once finished with the design, it is necessary to remove the gridded fabric, string by string, until only the motif is left on the desired fabric. This process is extremely time-intensive but the results are gorgeous. 

Empowering Women
  


  

Darzah was created with one goal in mind, empowering women in the West Bank. If it wouldn’t have been for the group of local mothers that approached us, voicing their desire for work, Darzah simply wouldn’t exist (read more about how Darzah was founded here). That is why our mission to empower women will always be central to everything that we do. 

   

In the West Bank, unemployment rates for young women are extremely high, affecting over 60% of the population. We aim to provide training and job opportunities for some of the most marginalized individuals by working with women in the northern region specifically, where poverty rates are especially high. There are numerous barriers to work for Palestinian women, including constraints of traditional society and geography. It is not particularly common for women to have reliable means of transportation, making daily commutes particularly difficult. All of our artisans have unique situations that make daily commuting and a normal 9-5 schedule difficult. For example, one of our artisans is also a college student, one is a single mother, and one has been sent to live with family in a remote village. To combat these hindrances, all of our artisans can choose to work from home, with materials and training delivered to them personally by our lead artisan, Rahaf. This allows our artisans to fulfill their familial roles and personal responsibilities, while also earning an income. 


 

 

Each of our artisans earns a living wage, well above the local minimum. With the income generated by working with Darzah, these women are better able to provide for themselves and their families. We make sure that every woman working with Darzah knows her value and feels comfortable and confident sharing her opinions. That is why there is no hierarchy amongst the artisans. All are treated as equals, and as such, are encouraged to make decisions as a group. This income and community creates added stability that has led our artisan to create larger dreams for not only themselves but also our organization. 

    

In 2019, our 6 full-time artisans participated in a 6-month long beginner course in leatherworking. Learning this new trade was thrilling for them and the artisans have been eager to put their new skills to use, working on new designs for upcoming collections. This training means that some of our leather products, such as Key Fobs and Purses, are now made from start to finish by our female artisans. We hope to secure funding soon for training in the next stage of leatherworking and the art of shoemaking, taught through an 18-month long course.

Our commitment and dedication have been recognized both locally and internationally. The supportive nature of our organization has become well known in local communities, with new applications being received each week from local Palestinian women interested in working for Darzah. In addition to this local recognition, our work has even been endorsed by the Fair Trade Federation. Our Fair Trade certification is a reflection of our promise to provide fair wages to our employees, implement sustainable manufacturing practices, and supporting marginalized communities. 

Non - Profit 

Darzah is a part of Child’s Cup Full, a 501(c)3 non-profit 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 small 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 approached Dr. Habashi, looking for a long term solution to their economic difficulties and asked if she could help find them jobs. As the local economy does not offer reliable work to women, Dr. Habashi knew that finding these women reliable work would be extremely challenging.  

After much contemplation, Dr. Habashi knew the best solution would be creating jobs for these local mothers. Thus, Child’s Cup Full was born. Despite not having any background in business, Dr. Habashi was committed to helping these women and this brave decision was supported by her community at the University of Oklahoma, so long as she took the business courses they recommended. 

 

After a semester of business classes, Dr. Habashi set out on developing a brand that could utilize her background in educational psychology, and the mother’s desire to work. This led to the creation of Zeki Learning, Darzah’s sister brand. Zeki Learning is a children’s educational resource brand committed to creating high-quality learning materials for preschool-age children that support cognitive development and language learning. The brand exclusively employs women from Zabedah and it’s neighboring villages, where access to work is particularly scarce. 

As word began to circulate about Child’s Cup Full and the jobs it was creating, more and more women began approaching the organization for work. In order to help more women, Dr. Habshi decided to form a second brand under CCF. Inspired by the prevalent knowledge of Tatreez embroidery in the region, Dr. Habashi decided to create Darzah.


Since its founding in 2014, Darzah has grown to include 6 full-time artisans and 22 part-time artisans. CCF has created an artisan center, located in Zababdeh, where our artisans come together to build community. Due to the demanding nature of Tatreez embroidery, our artisans tend to work from home. This model is made possible by our lead artisan, Rahaf, who delegates work and coordinates the pickup and drop off of projects to each artisan. As Darzah brings on new artisans, Rahaf travels to their homes to train them in additional techniques and skills, such as how to embroider more efficiently. 

 Women from the community continually contact us in search of job opportunities. As we grow, we are able to hire more women and  offer our current artisans additional training, and that is why growth is central to our company.

11 products
  • The Black and White Napkin Rings
    Vendor
    Darzah
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    $22.00
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    $22.00
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  • The Carnation Pillow in Black
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    Darzah
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    $120.00
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    $120.00
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  • The Carnation Pillow in Cream
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    Darzah
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    $120.00
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  • The Colorful Tatreez Napkin Rings
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    Darzah
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    $24.00
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  • The Tatreez Flat in Teal
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    Darzah
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    $189.00
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  • The Cream Tatreez Apron
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    Darzah
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    $22.00
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  • The Tatreez Flat in Rose
    Vendor
    Darzah
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    $209.00
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  • Tatreez Ankle Boot in Brown
    Vendor
    Darzah
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    $175.00
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    $175.00
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    $265.00
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  • The Tatreez Flat in Blue
    Vendor
    Darzah
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    $209.00
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  • The Tatreez Flat in Gray
    Vendor
    Darzah
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    $209.00
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  • The Tatreez Flat in Red
    Vendor
    Darzah
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    $209.00
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