At Green Prophet, we are always happy to celebrate talented designers who care about the environment and nothing gets us more excited then when they are from the Middle East/North Africa region. So, I have put together our top 5 Arab sustainable designers who have inspired us to care for the environment through their spectacular designs. From fashion designers, architects to interior designers those Arab designers who have put sustainability at the heart of their work are here!
5. Nadia Nour~ Egyptian Fashion Designer
Nadia Nour is an Egyptian fashion designer based in New York who has a real flare for creating environmentally-friendly fashion. Combining elegant designs with organic cottons, silks and vintage fabrics, she insists that you can still be fashionable and care for environment.
She has taken the fashionistas in New York by storm and states that not only are green fabrics healthier for people and the planet but they also make for a softer and more durable fabric. As she remarked in an interview at Green Prophet, “women do not have to sacrifice style to be green.”
Nour encourages green shoppers to read the labels carefully and educate themselves about the negative impacts of the fashion industry. She insists that not only will this help build demand for more eco-clothing but it should help make better decisions when shopping.
4. Ziad Ghanem~ Lebanese Fashion Designer
Next up is Ziad Ghanem, a Lebanese fashion designer who is a master of recycled fashion couture. Ghanem shocked viewers at the London fashion week with his anti-consumerism message and vibrant designs which were all environmentally-conscious. Sourcing his fabrics from second-hand stores, Ghanem’s creations are printed using environmentally-friendly techniques under ethical working conditions.
As fellow Green Prophet writer Karen Chernick notes, “unlike other high fashion designers, Ghanem brings a funky environmental consciousness to his work that proves “green” ideas have their place in the world of couture.”
3. Zaha Hadid~ Iraqi Architect
Now this one is a little more controversial. Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid is no doubt one of the most influential architects in the world – in fact she was named as one of TIME Magazines top 100 influential people this year- but her green credentials are little more questionable.
Tafline Laylin of Green Prophet reported this summer that whilst her team had begun to explore more sustainable design methods, “[Hadid] has spent her entire career allowing her futuristic imagination free reign with little thought to the environmental consequences of her ambition.”
Even so, if Hadid did take her growing concern for sustainability more seriously (rather than focusing on getting LEED certification for Saudi’s Petroleum Studies and Research Centre) she could be an unstoppable force for change.
2. Karim Rashid~ Eygptian Designer
Karim Rashid is a leading figure in the design world with a flair for creative green designs. With over 300 awards under his belt, Rashid has created some amazing products that help you stylishly save the planet.
Born in Cairo, Rashid is half Egyptian, half English and his work includes the ingenious Bobble reusable bottle which has built-in water filter to help remove chlorine and organic contaminant as well as being recycled, re-usable and cheap.
1. Hassan Fathy~ Egyptian Architect
Hailed as the Middle East’s Father of Sustainable Architecture, Hassan Fathy is an Egyptian architect who has inspired a generation of unique projects from Greece to New Mexico. What makes him stand out is his passion for sustainable projects incorporating traditional design and building materials such as mud, which he brought to the poor Egyptian peasant masses.
In 1946, he was commissioned to build a new Gourna village for 3,000 families and decided to include the villagers in the transition by enlisting them as builders, and by using their traditional architectural techniques and materials. Although he passed away in 1989, Fathy continues to inspire a generation of architects to embrace sustainable design. For that he makes it as number one!
Have we missed anyone out? If so, let us know and we might feature them right here on Green Prophet.
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