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Kees Chic - crocheting for a cause

Kees Chic was founded by Diana Rayyan, who was actually trained as a pharmacist. Kees Chic has done the near impossible, which is to make something recycled look so good. The defining factor of Kees Chic’s products is that they are handmade by local women of disadvantaged backgrounds. These ladies utilize traditional crochet stitches & embroidery technique while using the plastic thread. The plastic thread is made from disposed of shopping and garbage bags which helps create the ‘best out of waste’.

It was at her first job as a pharmacist that she attended an event related to ‘Green Environment’ in Jeddah. At the event, the speaker about the adverse effects that single use plastics have on the environment. How they are slowly choking the planet. It was then that she thought about turning plastic into something useful and she thought why not turn them into something pretty. That is how the idea of Kees Chic was born - turning plastic into thread to create items like purses, yoga mats and so on.

Diana initially began asking people about the idea, and if it was feasible back in 2009. However it was not until 2012 that things really took off because it was then that the art of crochet became vogue. From then on she started showcasing her work at exhibits, employing women to help crochet the items, getting volunteers to collect plastic bags and cleaning them. It was a steep learning curve filled with trials and errors. But it came to fruition when she participated in the Harvard Arab Weekend when she won a 30,000 USD grant that helped her expand her operations. It was not all smooth sailing from there. After many ups and downs, in 2016, as Diana started working with “Homegrown” market to sell her items, she was able to establish her brand ‘Kees Chic’.

The brand is bringing to the market a range of hip, trendy and ‘must-have’ lifestyle products. Their target market: the globally oriented and environmentally aware city dweller. These items, such as bean bag chairs, beach bags, scuba dive bags, sturdy yoga mats, and stress balls, are produced and sold in the coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The selling point of this social enterprise: filling a market void for certain niche products, while simultaneously easing the social conscience of our customers. Kees Chic provides its customers, by way of its products, the opportunity to get involved in an l campaign of cultural and environmental change.

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Photo credit: Kees Chic

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