A new campaign, titled “support our local crafts”, aims to combine big business and local artists as a way to protect craftsmanship, an important aspect of Egyptian heritage.
Bridge Egypt and ice_ribh are two companies that have joined efforts in an attempt to make businesses support Egyptian producers.
“The idea of supporting Egyptian industries has been on the minds of many Egyptians. We came up with the idea that instead of buying generic cheap products from China, businesses can buy corporate gifts from local artists and craftsmen,” said Karine Kamel, managing partner at Bridge Egypt.
In the current period, the company seeks to raise awareness regarding the issue and to entice as many businesses as possible to get on board. The main idea is that the larger the company is, the greater the impact corporate gifts will have. “Next year, we want to make it much bigger, but for this year the main aim is to raise awareness,” she added.
To this end, ice_ribh is planning a Christmas Bazaar with icecairo under “Dokkan Dilwa2ty” on 14 and 15 December, from 10.00am to 6.00pm. “Several businesses from the crafts sector will be selling their products, and everyone is invited to join to encourage green and inclusive business in Egypt,” Kamel said.
The event will feature food and beverages by “Gedety” in addition to seasonal music.
She stated that both companies have big ambitions for the campaign: “We hope to have a long lasting impact and that we get on board as many companies as possible. We want to bridge the gap between the developing sector and the corporate sector.”
Kamel revealed that so far, they have been working with around eight local craft businesses but are open to more joining: “Generally, we have had a favourable response from several big companies and the campaign is growing.”
But the campaign seems to be about more than just bridging the gap between these two sectors. Kamel is concerned with having a society of people who create rather than buy all the products they need: “A lot of these crafts are going extinct. It is part of our heritage and it is a lot more durable and thoughtful and made with intimacy than the generic products we get from China. From the time of our parents, some professions have actually nearly disappeared.
“For example, we don’t have people like shoemakers anymore. Today, they fix shoes but once upon a time, they created them. And we need to protect the people who create.”