Savan Abdulrahman – Iraqi Kurdistan
Jwane Amin, a young woman in Iraqi Kurdistan is working on a clothes recycling project in order to send a message to the world. Jwane was born in 1995 and has been working on her project formally since February 2020. Her project is called Jwane Design Recycling and she has an account on Instagram under that name.
Jwane said “I started doing this fashion recycling project formally since February 2020 where I used products to redesign and create new styles. I began recycle designing for myself in the last four years and it has been only a year that I have made it a formal business.”
Through this project Jwane wants to help people to manage their financial lives and think more creativly of what they wear “One of the points of my project is to help people wear different clothes. Different and cheap.”
“Now in the bazar and malls we find clothes that are really common and of ‘popular fashion’, this makes people all look very alike. People do prefer to look unique and different. This recycling project is to help people look unique and different.” She said.
Jwane says “Sometimes I go to the market and buy damaged second hand clothes very cheap. For example, I buy 20 pieces for only 10 thousand Iraqi dinars and then redesign it for myself and others. In this economic crisis, people can benefit by saving money. So, I recommend people to recycle their clothes because it helps them financially.”
Because of global warming, now there’s a huge threat to the whole world, if people are not aware this threat will increase to its highest point. Jwane said “My main point was to save the environment from all the extra products that harm our natural environment. By a simple change, an old piece of dress can look totally new.”
“One of my current works is a jacket that I sew masks all over in a fashionable way. Through this I want to tell people that throwing disposable masks all around the country is really harmful for the environment and health.
Instead, they should just throw it in the nearest rubbish bin around them.”
Jwane has customers who love and are loyal to her designs and wear them on daily basis “Now I have custumers who contact me and ask me to redesign their damaged clothes. And some others just buy my own designs. And sometimes friends just donate their old clothes and say I can have them for myself, which makes me very happy.
Jwane shares her story while starting the project and says “One off the hardest period periods of my work was when I was about to lose one of my fingers under the sewing machine. That was when I was sewing a design for my sister and accidentally my finger went under the machine and broke my bone. I had to have surgery for that. It took me a while to recover. But Nask, who is one of my very close friends supported me and sewed all my designs until I got better.”
Her customers are the ones who do the modeling for Jwane “Sometimes the friends that I fix clothes for, do modelling for me as a thank you gesture.”
She mostly works on cowboy dresses because working on them is easier. And sometimes uses leather and old belts to decorate her works. Besides fixing old dresses she designs her own designs “My work is not just fixing the damaged clothes. I usually design new clothes out of an old piece.”
Ranja Ali, is the one of the photographers who supports Jwane’s project and voluntarily captures does photo shoots “I want to thank my sisters and friends who do modeling for me. And Ranja who delightfully captures images during the shooting.”
Jwane gets her inspiration from her followers “People’s feedback always inspires me. Many people are interested in what I do. They send me thank you notes and some of them send me design ideas. That keeps me going.”
Jwana graduated in history department from the University of Sulaymaniyah in 2017. Currently she is a vice president of prestige private educational school in Sulaymaniyah.