Sustainable footwear model ‘ekn’ introduces the world’s first sneaker made in Europe and designed in Bangladesh by a rising feminine dressmaker from Dhaka.
Newly launched restricted version vegan sneaker goals to subvert exploitation within the world footwear business.
In a step that subverts the established order of trend design, Frankfurt-based sustainable footwear model ekn is launching the world’s first unisex shoe designed in Bangladesh and made in Europe. The brand new ekn Kamthala is a restricted version vegan sneaker manufactured in Portugal and designed in Bangladesh by a rising feminine Bangladeshi designer, Rokaiya Ahmed Purna.
Named after Bangladesh’s nationwide fruit – the jackfruit – the ekn Kamthala makes a daring assertion for the business to rethink the way it works with the World South, turning the same old ‘designed within the World North, manufactured within the World South’ paradigm on its head.
The idea was to ‘create a sneaker as a logo of respect’ – aiming to reverse a few of the unethical provide chain practices, air pollution and exploitation which were synonymous with the footwear business for many years – tapping into the youthful generations’ urge for food for significant change.
Bangladeshi designer Rokaiya Ahmed Purna is dedicated to gender equality, accountable consumption and manufacturing, selling indigenous textiles and innovation, and empowering girls and women in her house nation.
“In Bangladesh we’ve got a really wealthy cultural custom and heritage, which I attempt to implement into all of my work,” she says. My very own roots and childhood recollections additionally affect my designs; the inspiration for the ekn Kamthala comes from the jackfruit, the nationwide fruit of Bangladesh, which I’ve a deep relationship with. As a toddler there was a tree proper in entrance of my home the place I’d play, and draw, and sleep below. We’ve turn out to be used to the time period ‘Made in Bangladesh’, not ‘Designed in Bangladesh’, however the brand new era of Bangladeshis are beginning to assume otherwise and act otherwise. As a part of this era, I really feel lucky to have the chance to create change. I’m dwelling the dream of so many individuals, so it’s a possibility which comes with numerous duty.”
Placing Respect First
ekn was based in 2013 by Noel Klein-Reesink, after years trying to find the proper skate shoe and designing for New Stability and adidas. His expertise taught him that there was a severe want for a well-designed, considerate and sustainable sneaker, therefore ekn’s long run mission assertion “Made in Friendship” – a substitute for inhumane and environmentally degrading practices.
“The ekn Kamthala shoe is an announcement – an indication of respect. As a result of in a good world there isn’t any privileged facet of the association. If equity is the objective, we must always share our aspirations.” says Klein-Reesink.
Alexander Grapp, Group Artistic Director at Accenture Music and initiator of the idea, says: “’Made In’ labels not solely brush over the unjust situations that individuals within the World South typically work below – additionally they reinforce dangerous stereotypes about creativity and manufacturing within the so-called ‘First’ and ‘Third World’. They presume that American and European design is superior to that of the nations the place manufacturers outsource their manufacturing, which is solely not the case. All of that is what we wished to problem with this assertion. And alongside the way in which we realized and have been frequently impressed by the creativity and resilience of designers from Bangladesh like Rokaiya. We hope this makes folks assume! We’d like to ask extra corporations and types to work another way with nations like Bangladesh and past – and to harness the expertise and creativity that’s clearly ready to be extra widely known.”
All ekn’s footwear are produced in Portugal from sustainable supplies, with the purpose of offering high-quality footwear with out the social and environmental hurt brought on by comparable producers.
All earnings from gross sales of the footwear shall be used to arrange an NGO to supply the inventive folks of Dhaka a brand new place to work, and for a growth program searching for gifted feminine designers in Bangladesh and different nations to create an ongoing sequence of ekn footwear.
The restricted version ekn Kamthala shall be obtainable worldwide from January twenty first, 2023 at a retail value of $215.00 by visiting www.eknfootwear.com/en.
Rokaiya Ahmed Purna.