As part of this zero-waste initiative, we have commissioned the ANOU, a community of artisans in Morocco, to produce subtly coloured and boldly patterned hand-knotted rugs made with her naturally dyed off-cuts.
The series of four rugs – two knot pile pieces inspired by the colour palette of the collection, and two scrap rugs made using off- cuts from its production process are available both to view and to buy at Ssōne’s store at 17 Chiltern Street, London. All profits will be divided between ANOU and Ssōne Circle. This collaboration is the first in an ongoing series, created to provide a platform and support for the work.
There are many local community groups or tribes involved in the ANOU from all over Morocco. The depth of their knowledge and understanding of local materials is staggering. Different groups work with historic techniques from their areas, they understand the natural availability and scope of the nature that surrounds them. We are just at the beginning of our partnership with them, and we chose to work with Tifawin.
The women of Cooperative Tifawin are from a village outside of City Fatima called Ourika, about 60 km from Marrakech. The area is commonly visited by tourists, which is what encouraged the women to build the cooperative. Before, they were weaving in their homes, but selling at very low prices to middlemen or to the markets of Marrakech. With the cooperative they were able to come together and raise prices to earn a better income. This area is famous for its boucherouite rugs and traditional high mountain rugs that have a variety of colours.
For the women, these rugs are like canvases where they can create new and unique designs. The women wanted to create the cooperative because they were so frustrated and stuck with the middlemen who were taking their products for next to nothing and selling them for much more to tourists. With the help of the village Development Association, they have been able to successfully build the cooperative. The women are now able to unite as a community and develop their skills while also earning sustainable income, working in a shared space and in their respective homes.
The cooperative provides the women with the materials for their weaving, and ten percent of the income from the rugs goes towards the cooperative costs and rent of the communal space. Twelve women have been part of Tifawin since its inception in 2014.
They worked on two styles of rugs for us, the wool knot pile rugs that were botanically dyed to the colours of our collection, and Boucherouite which is made from textiles scraps. We gave them our production off cuts to work with as part of our Zero Waste initiative.