Fadwa and Amal met at university, where they first encountered the traditional Moroccan art of Boucherouite (a form of weaving using scraps of material). Taken in by its Beauty – and seeing an opportunity to uplift local women artisans – they founded IDYR, meaning “the living” in the Berber language. Their logo represents life, strength and independence – as do their gorgeous, handmade accessories, all of which are made sustainably and ethically in Morocco.
As part of our spotlight series on local creators we asked the two friends about how they managed to find Beauty in the depths of the pandemic, feeling comfortable in your skin from within, and how in Morocco craftsmanship is more than just a job – it’s a kind of therapy.
How did the idea for IDYR come about?
The idea came while we both were studying. We joined a group of young activists who were trying to find entrepreneurial solutions to social problems. While visiting some rural areas, we met women who are ready to work and be independent but do not have access to employment. Most of them learned to weave during childhood, since it’s a Moroccan tradition. We did some research, found out how rich and beautiful the art of weaving is, and fell in love especially with the Boucherouite, a carpet handwoven from textile scraps. The story, the values and the beauty of Boucherouite made us think about a way to use it in everyday products, so we created our first collection of handwoven fashion accessories. We want to revive the story, the values and the beauty of Boucherouire and to revive hope in the heart of many of Casablanca’s artisans.
Can you walk us through your creative process?
We want creativity and usefulness to be friends and complement each other. When things inspire us, we use their shapes, sizes and dimensions to create accessories that are comfortable, different, easy to use and of course, carry a story and values.
Where do you draw inspiration from, both within Morocco and beyond?
Aside from the Boucherouite, in general we draw inspiration from Moroccan cities and sometimes from Moroccan heritage and traditional clothing.
How has your brand been impacted by Covid-19? Have you had to pivot business strategies?
We first thought about a way to help people in need, so we created a campaign where for every product sold, we would use some of the profits to help feed 158 families in suburban areas. Then seeing how people became closer to their family and memories of home, we decided to launch a new concept collecting damaged or special clothes that one wants to keep and transforming them into carpets, whole décor or blankets using Boucherouite techniques.
What is the importance of craftsmanship within your community?
We can’t deny that it’s one of the most important sources of income in Morocco, but craftsmanship also has a very important role in suburban areas. One day an artisan told us “if craftsmanship does not enrich me, it will give me a home; and if it doesn't give me a home, it will lengthen my life”. It’s therapy before being a job.
What's next for the brand?
We’re now discovering other countries and people to expand our impact and spread the story of Boucherouite all over the world.
Where is your absolute favorite place in Morocco?
Casablanca – it’s a mix of everything. The contrast means that when you’re there, you’re always travelling – you can find a little bit of each Moroccan city in Casablanca.
What's your skincare philosophy?
Fadwa: I love my skin – I never hide it, I take care of it and I accept it with all its beauty and imperfections.
Amal: To feel comfortable within my skin.
What is the best beauty advice you've ever received?
Fadwa: Drink water!
Amal: Practice sport, even if it’s only for 10 minutes a day.
What is the skincare hero you swear by?
Fadwa: Olive oil! It’s exceptional!
Amal: Rose water.
Follow IDYR's journey on Instagram at @_idyr_– and to be the first to know more about how we’re working with our community of creators (as well as exclusive offers, product drops and more), connect with us @whind.