We are suckers for a good love story, especially when it has an eco-twist. Chafiq Ennaoui and Aimee Bianca met at the Djemaa el Fna square in Marrakech, where Aimee gushed over the unique quality of artisanal Moroccan crafts. The pair soon fell in love and eventually moved to New York, where Chafiq gained a new appreciation for the designs of his youth.
But with plastic junk from China and elsewhere quickly replacing slow handcrafted pieces, the couple became concerned about the future of these special products and the people who so lovingly craft them. This is how BELDI, which refers to all things folk and country about real Morocco, was born. An online store and a preservation project, BELDI sells a wide range of striking pieces that are almost all made with recycled or renewable materials.
These are the warm and loving faces behind BELDI – an online store that sells authentic artisanal crafts from Morocca. Aimee and Chafiq purchase their goods directly from each supplier to ensure that they receive fair wages and they have committed to giving 20% of the proceeds to various Moroccan charities. They already support the SOS Children’s Village in Ait Ourir and sponsor a young boy who lives there.
BELDI sources their products very carefully. These fun Moroccan market bags are made with renewable palm leaves while the leather handles are made of the meat industry’s byproducts. Not only are they far more sustainable than plastic bags, but they are also more comfortable to use as the soft handles won’t cut into your hand.
These hand-blown Morrocan tea glasses are all made from recycled glass at one of the last such plants of its kind in Marrakech. Attractive and colorful to boot, they can be used for different functions for those unaccustomed to drinking sweet, minted tea out of glass. But few products in this line pay combined homage to the country’s special cultural heritage and the earth as well as these.
Visit BELDI’s website for a fuller look at their line of goods and if you’re in New York, it’s even possible to set up an appointment to view their lovely carpet connection. They also sell goods that are perfect for the bathroom and living room, and if you’re wondering about the wood they use? It’s made from recycled timber taken from the citrus industry.
With this store, you can be certain that you’re getting a fair deal and you’re supporting a tradition that is dissolving in the face of globalization. Don’t let it happen. Support this wonderful couple and their value-added work.