100 Saudi Brands to take fashion initiative sustainability to the next level

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Updated 24 July 2022

100 Saudi Brands to take fashion initiative sustainability to the next level

100 Saudi Brands to take fashion initiative sustainability to the next level
  • Launched last year, the plan aims to support the business development of 100 KSA designers and luxury brands

DUBAI: Two of the Fashion Commission’s 100 Saudi Brands, Yousef Akbar and Tima Abid, use local materials and minimize their carbon footprint to build a sustainable industry in the Kingdom.

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

The 100 Saudi Brands initiative, launched last year, aims to support the business development of 100 Saudi designers and luxury brands, providing Saudi fashion products with international credentials.

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

Sustainability in fashion

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




Fashion designer Yousef Akbar said that wearing a digital garment does not require manufacturing. As a result, there will be no waste or carbon footprint. (Supplied)

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

In terms of minimizing the carbon footprint, Akbar said he sources his materials as locally as possible.

For example, if he was designing or producing a piece in Australia, Akbar tries to get the materials from that country. “This way, the materials don’t have to travel so much,” he added.

SPEEDREAD

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

According to him, sustainable materials do not have to be recycled since these materials can often produce a lot of waste.

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

Akbar uses stock fabric from other companies or designers when making and producing his pieces. “So instead of them going to waste, we try to utilize them,” he added.

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

“They can connect with the piece and see what kind of impact these clothes are having on the environment and what kind of journey these garments have been through,” he said.

Akbar added that they plan on introducing digital clothes that clients can wear on zoom or even on Instagram.

He explained that wearing a digital garment does not require manufacturing. As a result, there will be no waste or carbon footprint. “You cannot be more sustainable than doing nothing,” Akbar added.

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




Sultana Bukhari, Tima Abid’s assistant brand manager. (Supplied)

Tima Abid Haute Couture discovered a group of Saudi women who created their fabrics. Currently, they are exploring how to incorporate it and support these women, according to Bukhari.

Each item is produced in the atelier in Jeddah. From start to finish, none of the processes of creating the gown are characterized by fast fashion behavior.

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

Empowering fashion

According to Rana Zumai, 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 Zumai, vice president of the Saudi Professional Fashion Association. (Supplied)

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

SPFA’s responsibilities include looking after the community, their challenges and needs, future planning, exhibitions and events related to the fashion industry.

“Our big mission is to empower the community, not only the sector itself,” she added.

Zumai said the fashion community comprises tailors, designers, and factories working in the fashion industry.

Zumai said the association would help the fashion industry in the Kingdom build its brands by supporting and developing local fashion shows. They will also gain international exposure by participating in local and interna- tional events.

 

 


American Airlines bets on supersonic travel with Boom jet deal

American Airlines bets on supersonic travel with Boom jet deal
Updated 16 August 2022

American Airlines bets on supersonic travel with Boom jet deal

American Airlines bets on supersonic travel with Boom jet deal

CHICAGO: American Airlines Group Inc. on Tuesday agreed to buy up to 20 jets from aircraft maker Boom Supersonic, becoming the second major US airline to bet on ultra-fast passenger travel in the last two years.

The deal brings Boom’s order book to 130 airplanes, including options, valued at about $26 billion, Boom Chief Executive Blake Scholl said in an interview.

The return of interest in supersonic jets comes nearly two decades after Concorde, flown by Air France and British Airways, was retired following a deadly crash and high costs of fuel and maintenance.

Last year, United Airlines Holdings Inc agreed to buy 15 Boom Overture aircraft provided they meet certain safety, operating and sustainability requirements. A similar condition was part of the American Airlines agreement as well.

American also has an option to purchase 40 more of the jets, each of which can carry 65 to 80 passengers, the companies said.

The four-engine Overture jet can fly from Miami to London in just under five hours, cutting the nearly nine-hour flight time between the cities by about half.

American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller said it was too early to discuss ticket prices, given the aircraft isn't expected to carry its first passengers until 2029.

Supersonic jets have come under criticism from environmentalists for burning more fuel per passenger than comparable subsonic planes.

The Overture jet, being designed to run fully on sustainable aviation fuel or a blend, will be rolled out of Boom’s Greensboro, North Carolina factory in 2025, followed by test flights in 2026.

Third Bridge senior analyst Christopher Raite sounded a word of caution on Boom’s delivery target, saying the delay in conducting test flights for Boom’s other jet, the XB-1, signaled that delivery of the Overture will be delayed.


87,467 families benefit from Saudi housing program in 2022

87,467 families benefit from Saudi housing program in 2022
Updated 16 August 2022

87,467 families benefit from Saudi housing program in 2022

87,467 families benefit from Saudi housing program in 2022

RIYADH: The number of families benefiting from Saudi Arabia’s Sakani housing options and financing solutions has reached 87,467 since the beginning of the year until the end of July. 

Some 104,492 families also received possession of their first homes during that period, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The program seeks to raise the proportion of housing ownership for Saudi families to 70 percent by 2030.

The Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund formed Sakani in 2017 to facilitate homeownership in the Kingdom through the creation of new housing stock, allocating plots and homes to nationals, and financing their purchase.

Earlier this year, Sakani program announced that it aims to enable 180,000 new families to benefit from the program’s housing options and solutions during 2022. 


Oil prices drop over 1% on potential global recession concerns

Oil prices drop over 1% on potential global recession concerns
Updated 16 August 2022

Oil prices drop over 1% on potential global recession concerns

Oil prices drop over 1% on potential global recession concerns

NEW YORK: Oil prices fell over 1 percent on Tuesday in volatile trading as economic data spurred concerns about a potential global recession, while the market awaited clarity on talks to revive a deal that could allow more Iranian oil exports.

Brent crude futures fell $1.41, or 1.5 percent, to $93.69 a barrel, after hitting a session high of $95.95. West Texas Intermediate crude decreased $1.33, or 1.5 percent, to $88.08 a barrel, after rising to $90.65.

The contracts fell about 3 percent in their previous sessions.

The EU is assessing Iran’s response to what the bloc has called its “final” proposal to save a 2015 nuclear deal, and consulting with the US, an EU spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Iran responded to the proposal late on Monday but neither Tehran nor the EU provided any details on the content of the reply.

“It is still unclear what Iran has told the EU last night, so some tricky items might impact the outcome of the nuclear deal,” UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

Weak economic indicators weighed on prices.

US homebuilding fell to the lowest level in nearly 1-1/2 years in July, weighed down by higher mortgage rates and prices for construction materials, suggesting the housing market could contract further in the third quarter.

“Oil traders reacted because of concerns about an economic slowdown and housing uses energy,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures group. “That caught us by surprise.”

China’s central bank cut lending rates to try to revive demand as the nation’s economy slowed unexpectedly in July after Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis slowed factory and retail activity.

State media quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying that China will reasonably step up macro policy support for the economy.

Barclays lowered its Brent price forecasts by $8 per barrel for this year and next, as it expects a large surplus of crude oil over the near-term due to “resilient” Russian supplies.


Saudi Cabinet authorizes transport minister to discuss MoUs with Bahrain

Saudi Cabinet authorizes transport minister to discuss MoUs with Bahrain
Updated 16 August 2022

Saudi Cabinet authorizes transport minister to discuss MoUs with Bahrain

Saudi Cabinet authorizes transport minister to discuss MoUs with Bahrain

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet on Tuesday authorized the minister of transport and logistic services to discuss with Bahrain two draft agreements to boost cooperation in the fields of road safety and maintenance. 

During the meeting, the council of ministers also authorized the chairman of Education and Training Evaluation Commission to discuss with the UAE a draft initial agreement to cooperate in the development of assessment, measurement and accreditation tools.

The ministers also approved two agreements in the fields of employment and domestic workers with Burundi, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The Cabinet has also authorized the health minister to discuss a draft memorandum of understanding with the Uzbek side for cooperation in the field. 

It also approved the rules governing the competency and contractor program.


UAE-based Dukkantek secures $10m in pre-series A funding 

UAE-based Dukkantek secures $10m in pre-series A funding 
Updated 16 August 2022

UAE-based Dukkantek secures $10m in pre-series A funding 

UAE-based Dukkantek secures $10m in pre-series A funding 

RIYADH: Dukkantek, a UAE-based store management platform, raised $10 million in a pre-series A funding round led by venture capital firm, BECO Capital, with the participation from Rocketship and Colle Capital.

“This second round of funding comes at the perfect time as we are looking to explore growth (opportunities) in additional markets, increase our team size and further advance our technology,” Sanad Yaghi, the co-founder of Dukkantek, said in a statement.

The company raised a total amount of $15.2 million after its $5.2 million seed round in October 2021.

Founded in January 2021, it uses digital transformations and end-to-end technology to support businesses with their operations, Wamda reported.

The funding round also saw participation from strategic investors including Comma Capital, AMK Investment Office, Chaos Ventures, and Wamda Capital.