After years of studying visual communication, graphic and pattern design, Basma Omar decided to dive into the entrepreneurship world. Driven by her creativity and desire to make a positive impact, the talented designer transformed her mother’s small tailor workshop into a thriving manufacturing hub.
“Contrary to a lot of initiatives that focus on the consumer’s expectations, I wanted to focus on the producers’ point of view.”
In 2012, Basma started training local communities in South Jordan on dyeing techniques and sewing methods. After seven years of being a consultant advising local projects on production processes, she founded Badia Wool, a project using sheep and goat wool, as well as camel hair to create original yarn. With a focus on Bedouin communities, the project seeks to empower local producers to build a stronger foundation and embrace their unique resources.
“This opened my eyes to the potential of using traditional craftsmanship to create unique products.”
Half Jordanian and half Lebanese, Basma wants to stress the potential Jordan has to excel in the fashion industry “with the right support and infrastructure”. She herself found this support through the Switchers community, which originated within the framework of the EU-funded SwitchMed programme.
“Badia Wool now has partnerships with local community-based organisations and NGOs, which help local artisans to enhance their wool processing methods and create more efficient production cycles.” With pride, Basma mentions how a Bedouin community she collaborated with has achieved a 10-year partnership with a prominent NGO based on the work they did with her.
Despite challenges to take her project to the digital world through a platform dubbed ‘Grounded Stream’, Basma is confident that she will soon manage to build bridges between various artisan communities across the region. “I’ve already started actually, by connecting with local communities in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, Pakistan, and even India.”
"The biggest lesson I’ve learned is the power of focus and dedication to one project at a time."
The Switchers is a community of inspiring green entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Mediterranean region. It provides a platform where entrepreneurs that share a common passion for the environment can meet. Switchers are green and circular businesses implementing eco-innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable and fair consumption and production models. They are active in a variety of fields, such as sustainable farming, green construction, sustainable textiles and cosmetics, eco-tourism, renewable energy, or waste management. The platform started within the framework of the EU-funded SwitchMed programme (2012-2018), an initiative that supports and connects stakeholders to scale up eco and social innovations in the Mediterranean.
TANDEM Media Awards
EU Neighbours South is launching the 2nd edition of the TANDEM Media Awards, a regional media contest, funded by the European Union (EU). The competition is based on the concept of collaborations between pairs. The theme of TANDEM Media Awards is culture, an area in which the EU is active through different types of support and contributions.