Sammy Handmade Puts a Contemporary Twist on Ethiopian Crafts

Sammy Handmade, Nolcha Fashion Week, Nolcha Shows, Ethiopia, Africa, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-friendly bags, sustainable bags, eco-friendly scarves, sustainable scarves

Tell us more about your brand and what inspired you to start it?

It was all really by accident how the brand started. The desire was always to create a method or work in a field that lets me help and better living conditions in Africa.

I studied international relations since I wanted to be a diplomat. After graduation. I didn’t see this type of work as being effective in a very grassroots level. So in my earlier career stage thought it might be better to study business and studied international marketing. This way, I can do a business that has meaning, really benefit underprivileged populations and, of course be profitable.

I came to Ethiopia and saw that there were skills and resources, and materials that were unique that can appeal to the rest of the world.


“We source 95 percent of our materials and inputs locally, use natural materials, and work with traditional skilled artisans.


We source 95 percent of our materials and inputs locally, use natural materials, and work with traditional skilled artisans to preserve the art and craftsmanship. 

Was sustainability always a factor from the start?

Yes. The vision was to start and maintain sustainable ways of doing work.

What challenges have you encountered with your brand, in terms of keeping it green or otherwise?

It is not easy to be a green brand but since the brand’s intention was this, we strive to stay to true to our core values: sourcing local, natural materials; creating sustainable work; providing fair pay; and preserving traditional craftsmanship.

Sammy Handmade, Nolcha Fashion Week, Nolcha Shows, Ethiopia, Africa, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-friendly bags, sustainable bags, eco-friendly scarves, sustainable scarves

What inspired your latest collection in terms of cuts, fabrics, and colors?

Upcycling our leftover scraps and create beautiful new products and styles.

Describe the person you envision wearing—and embodying—your brand.

Conscious of their lifestyle and this person actions impact the world.


“The desire was always to help and better living conditions in Africa.”


Where do you see your brand in five years?

Well-established with our objectives still remaining the same but with better ways of creating sustainable products.

What advice do you have for aspiring designers, particularly those who want to keep sustainability at the core of their business?

To make business sense of sustainability and it can work in their business model. If this is not thought through well, many challenges can face designers in their long journey of keep up with this model.

+ Sammy Handmade

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