How Shimena Protects the Nature and Weaving Culture of Ethiopia
A blog article written by Shimena founder Firew Konjo.
I have worked in creating lucrative livelihood for young artisans that were abandoning the tradition of weaving to quick income jobs like charcoal production, fuel wood business and similar activities.
It has also curbed the migration of young people to the capital city with the opportunity of engaging in exploitative and illegal activities.
The enterprise also has helped to save the traditional skill transformation and preserve the art of weaving by developing modern use and upgrading the products.
More Stories About Shimena
The methods of making Shimena textiles have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. The culture of hand weaving in Ethiopia was spread throughout the country both during and after the reign of Emperor Menelik (1890s).
The concept of ‘Natural Dyes’ is by no means a new one and refers to all the dyes derived from the natural sources.
Ethiopia has a long tradition of using natural sources for textile coloration, and Shimena wants to maintain and develop this ancient knowledge.
Every piece of clothing we buy has a story that connects to our own history as soon as we see and wear it for the first time. The stories that happen afterwards we know or they are not written yet, but what about the story before? And by whom was it written?
Each product of the collection is made in this workshop in Abra Minch. As you can see in the video, the artisans of Shimena use traditional instruments and tools in the winding, spinning and weaving processes.
The challenge that I observed from the artisans is they used to spend all their earnings they got from weaving without any saving.