MAHDIA, Tunisia (AP) — The solar is setting by the point Tunisian clothier Chems Eddine Mechri reaches the breezy, seaside city of Mahdia. He has spent half the day driving within the scorching warmth in pursuit of the dear, handmade materials he wants for his upcoming winter assortment.
With a 200-kilometer ( 125-mile) highway journey from Tunis coming to an finish, the designer is aware of simply the place: the basement of a blue-lit workshop, hidden away within the labyrinth of Mahdia’s outdated medina, the place silk weaver Mohamed Ismail’s spinning wheel nonetheless goes at full velocity.
In a globalized world dominated by quick vogue manufacturers resembling Zara, H&M and Topshop, Tunisian designers like Mechri are more and more going again to their roots, embracing native artisans and environmentally acutely aware supplies. Due to North African nation’s age-old textile-making traditions, Tunisia is an efficient match for the eco-fashion they need to champion.
Ismail has been spinning domestically sourced wool and cotton, in addition to silk thread imported from China, for the final 47 years. “This work is in our blood…it’s in our DNA,” Ismail says as he unwinds a crimson silk yarn in his workshop. “It’s intergenerational, and for my household, this work could be very valuable to us.”
Again within the capital of Tunis, Mechri and his dressmaker sew collectively a costume from scratch for his vogue model Née. They mix a shimmering pink and gold conventional cloth utilized in Tunisian embroidery with a mesh materials from the Sixties. Each had been deemed unsellable by the service provider Mechri purchased them from.