Providing tangible outcomes… and linking women
“SPINNA Circle has made a very good start in Ethiopia by working with women textile entrepreneurs. We have learned with great interest that it has forged a capacity building agreement with CAWEE in August 2013. The promotion evening by Rupa Ganguli and David Eaton on the 18th September was a very good opportunity to promote fine-quality Ethiopian traditional fabrics and costumes. We look forward to work with SPINNA Circle in the ensuing future”.
Hirut Zemene, Minister Counsellor, Trade Investment and tourism Division, Embassy of Ethiopia, London, UK
After an exciting and adventurous visit to Addis Ababa for both David and Rupa, it was time now for ‘show and tell’! Many of our friends and clients from the fashion world had already been asking about these visits and were keen to know more than see just a few photos of products and exciting images from Ethiopia. London Fashion Week was just around the corner and this provided the perfect opportunity for SPINNA Circle to theme this season’s fashion week event on Ethiopia!
With the latest SPINNA Circle in Ethiopia and some initial products sampled, it was time to test out the developments with industry. “We asked specific customers to come to the Oriental Club for a private viewing”, says David Eaton, SPINNA Circle’s Director, Sales and Marketing.
The evening started with a presentation by Rupa who introduced the concept and the latest developments of the journey to Ethiopia and the first SPINNA Circle in Africa, now established in Addis Ababa in partnership with CAWEE headed by Nigest Haile. She spoke about the amazing and absolutely dynamic interaction with the women entrepreneurs in Addis which lead to the signing of an official Memorandum of Understanding and the setting up of the partnership. This was followed by David’s introduction to the fabulous opportunity that Ethiopia presented with the high proportion of organic cotton available and the outstanding weavers, skilled in fine techniques and simple design possibilities. David then invited everyone to see the samples that had been developed by SPINNA Circle for showing at this private viewing for both feedback and comments.
Hirut Zemene and Mulugeta from the Embassy of Ethiopia in London took the floor and in addition to offering their continued support, invited everyone to the wonderful land of Ethiopia which was open to receiving interested tourists, business persons, delegations and investors.
The short film – SPINNA Circle Ethiopia was then launched. This provided the perfect opportunity for everyone at the event to see the women who constitute SPINNA Circle in Ethiopia and to see their shops, workshops, ateliers, products and get a glimpse into their individual stories.
The evening was both extremely productive and very relaxing in the beautiful Library room of the Oriental Club, which just added towards making this a wonderful mix of contemporary and traditional, new and old – building relations and connecting worlds. A new system and a way of doing business seemed to be evolving.
The event welcomed a wonderful mix of fashion and textile buyers, luxury retailers, designers and business professionals from high-end brands, academic institutions, investors, financial institutions and trade institutions. Representatives from Anthroplogie, Love Brand & Co., Boden and Belinda Dickson OBE were there and have already shown interest in developing product in conjunction with SPINNA Circle.
With these small but sure beginnings, SPINNA Circle looks forward to setting new standards and formats for the business of fashion and textiles in the future. Not only can good design be of the highest quality, but it can materially benefit the lives of all those involved in its production, while conducting business in a professional, efficient and ethical way.