Handmade History

Inspired By The Love For Our Traditional Handweaving

Paradise Fashion was inspired by a love for traditional Ethiopian handweaving, the desire to preserve the beauty of this tradition, and empower women across Ethiopia with sustainable employment opportunities. This inspiration evolved into our Exclusively Ethiopian fashion line. 

The Exclusively Ethiopian fashion line combines traditional Ethiopian handwoven fabrics with contemporary design, where we create limited-production collections of scarves, caftans, dresses, and other garments. The perfect balance of design and tradition is also the cornerstone of the custom, quality fabric creation for each collection.

“Our Exclusively Ethiopian products are custom designed pieces with a limited run because they are dependent on the custom-designed, handwoven fabrics that our team and community partners make,” said Genet Kebede.   

At Paradise Fashion, we have more than 25 years’ experience with producing handwoven Ethiopian fashion with locally-sourced cotton and 100% ethically harvested Eri silk. We strive to provide our in-house artisan weavers with job opportunities that help break cycles of poverty and reduce rural migration to larger cities. The fabrics we use in our garments are as unique as the loom weavers with whom we work, meaning that each item is an exclusive work of Ethiopian art.

HANDWOVEN ETHIOPIAN FASHION WITH AN ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE FOCUS

Handwoven cotton fabrics have been integral to the Ethiopian economy for centuries. Starting with the raw cotton, traditional weavers quickly became artisans as the quality of the spun cotton and the complexity and intricacy of the woven designs propelled the market. However, in recent years, silk has also become a mainstay in Ethiopian fabrics and fashion.  

We work with certified fair-trade community partner organizations who value craftsmanship in their silk spinning and weaving, and we incorporate their artisanal products into our handwoven Ethiopian fashion.

 

handwoven Ethiopian fashion

ABOUT THE SILK HARVESTING AND WEAVING PROCESS

Though Eri silk is native to India, the caterpillars that spin it also thrive in Ethiopia. They are hearty and wild, meaning their silk is thicker and stronger, and that the silk does not come from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as most silk does.

Eri silk can also be a “peace silk,” meaning that no living organism is harmed during the silk harvesting process. When Eri silk is harvested in this way, the insect’s cocoon, which is the source of the silk, is not disrupted while the pupa matures. Because of our commitment to our community and our world, our team only uses Eri silk that is harvested following this sustainable, ethical process.

After harvesting the silk, the silk cocoons are set in the sun to dry before boiling away the remaining residue. Then the cocoons are set in the sun to dry once more before being spun into yarn. Since the filaments of the cocoon are shorter, thicker, and coarser, spinning Eri silk is a necessary step. Afterward, the silk is dyed, and the silk yarn is hand woven into unique, one-of-a-kind fabrics that reflect our distinct Ethiopian culture. We then use these fabrics as the basis for our handwoven Exclusively Ethiopian fashion limited-edition products, such as scarves, caftans, and other unique garments.