100 Saudi brands to take the sustainability of fashion initiative to the next level

Dubai: Yousef Akbar and Timah Abid, two of the Fashion Commission’s 100 Saudi Brands, use local materials and reduce their carbon footprint to create a sustainable industry in the Kingdom.

The Fashion Commission of Saudi Arabia contributes to achieving sustainability by supporting the fashion industry through its 100 Saudi Brands initiative and the launch of the Saudi Professional Fashion Association.

100 Saudi Brand InitiativesLaunched last year, it aims to support the business growth of over 100 Saudi designers and luxury brands while providing Saudi fashion products with international credentials.

This will help create 100 Saudi brands that can compete regionally and internationally. It is within the framework of the Fashion Commission to develop the fashion sector of the Kingdom in all its legislative and regulatory aspects. It will also support and empower its employees, including creators and investors.

sustainability in fashion

Saudi fashion designer Yousef Akbar told Arab News that “there is no such thing as a sustainable brand in this entire world.”


Fashion designer Yousef Akbar said that manufacturing is not required to wear digital garments. As a result, there will be no waste or carbon footprint. (supplied)

However, he said that sustainability is one of his core philosophies. Akbar and his team achieve sustainability by reducing their carbon footprint by using sustainable materials and digital pattern making.

In terms of reducing the carbon footprint, Akbar said he gets his ingredients as locally as possible.

For example, if he was designing or manufacturing a piece in Australia, Akbar tries to obtain materials from that country. “That way, the material doesn’t have to travel that much,” he said.

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The initiative will help create 100 Saudi brands that can compete regionally and internationally. It is within the framework of the Fashion Commission to develop the fashion sector of the Kingdom in all its legislative and regulatory aspects.

According to him, there is no need to recycle sustainable materials as these materials can often generate a lot of waste.

Whenever he uses recycled materials, Akbar’s team tries to use those that are certified to Global Recycling Standards, which he believes is “one of the strictest recycling certifications out there.”

Akbar uses stock fabrics from other companies or designers while designing and creating his pieces. “So instead of wasting them, we try to use them,” he said.

This year, Akbar’s Demi-Couture will introduce barcodes on every garment. The barcode allows Akbar’s customers to see where the garments come from, what processes they have gone through and how far they have traveled.

“They can connect to the piece and see what kind of impact these fabrics are having on the environment and the kind of travel these clothes have made,” he said.

Akbar said he plans to introduce digital clothing that customers can wear on Zoom or Instagram.

He said that there is no need for manufacturing to wear digital garments. As a result, there will be no waste or carbon footprint. Akbar said, “You can’t be more durable than doing nothing.”

Tima Abid’s assistant brand manager Sultana Bukhari told Arab News that the haute couture house is working on sourcing its clothing from local suppliers in the Kingdom. This is because its main suppliers are located in Europe. “So, to get the clothes from there to here, there are traces of carbon. So we need to work on it,” she said.


Sultana Bukhari, Assistant Brand Manager of Tima Abid. (supplied)

Tima Abid Haute Couture explores a group of Saudi women who made their own clothes. According to Bukhari, currently, they are exploring how to contain it and support these women.

Every item is produced at the atelier in Jeddah. From start to finish, no single process of making a gown is characterized by fast fashion behavior.

Fashion is one of the many industries that negatively affect the environment. The Saudi Professional Fashion Association, a non-profit organization under the Ministry of Culture, supports and educates brands about sustainable fashion.

empowering fashion

According to Rana Jumai, Vice President of the Saudi Professional Fashion Association, the association empowers and educates the fashion industry about sustainability.

“All fashion associations around the world share the same mission: to empower the fashion community,” she said.


Rana Jumai, Vice President of the Saudi Professional Fashion Association. (supplied)

Jumai explained that small designers who make sustainability a commercial value receive tremendous support from suppliers and the government.

The responsibilities of the SPFA include caring for the community, their challenges and needs, planning for the future, exhibitions and events related to the fashion industry.

“Our bigger mission is to empower the community, not just the region,” he said.

Jumai said the fashion community includes tailors, designers and factories working in the fashion industry.

Jumai said the association will help the fashion industry in the Kingdom build their own brands by supporting and developing local fashion shows. They will also gain international recognition by participating in local and international events.