Founder : Lolwa Reda
Creative sustainable fashion : shoes made out of Ananas !!🍍
1. Tell us about your journey to embrace healthier /sustainable fashion, lifestyles and living?
I have always been very conscious of the issues within the fashion industry, and the environmental strain that comes from clothes, shoes, and bags. Having always had a problem with faux leather, aka pleather, due to the negative effects it has on feet, I started looking towards alternatives in the market. However, I quickly learnt that there are no alternatives to faux leather in Egypt for those who do not wish to wear genuine leather. I started researching different ways of making leathers and experimenting with a lot of materials, and finally I landed on the perfect two leathers: Pineapple Leather and Cactus Leather from Prickly Pear Fruit.
My issue with pleather wasn’t just the foot health issues that it causes, it was also the fact that the process of manufacturing it releases toxic byproducts that pollute our air and water. Furthermore, wearing certain types of these plastic leathers has also been shown to lead to high toxicity levels amongst human beings.
2. What are your leading products and who are they targeted to?
We have products made from fruit leather, pineapple fruit and cactus from prickly pear, and other products made from genuine leather. Our aim is to create sustainable products that are suitable for all. We manufacture with less water, electricity, and have zero tolerance for materials with toxic byproducts.
We target individuals who are conscious of the environment and re looking for comfortable, affordable shoes, that leave a minimal carbon footprint and strain on the environment.
3. What to you see as your main challenges in growing your business and how will you overcome these?
It is such a shame that the last few years have seen a number of online businesses scam customers, leaving the latter with little trust in online sellers. As we mainly sell online, it is very difficult for us to gain customer’s trust. This is something that we are working hard on achieving via enabling customers to see products before payment (although this is available in Cairo only right now), and having a returns and exchange policy, something almost no online store does. We also send two sizes to debunk the idea that we are profiting from shipping fees.
4. How will you measure the success of your business?
Returning customers are the biggest indication for our success. Over 50% of our customers have come back and bought products from us. This is a significant number, as we have lounged less than 6 months ago.
5. What is your vision for the next 5 years for your business?
We aim to push forward more in sustainable fashion and increase our product range to include a small, but chic, clothing line. We are also looking to open our first store within that time period.
6. What is the one thing you will want people to remember about your brand?
That we create comfortable, fashionable pieces at a great price and with sustainability at the root of our practices.
7. Why do you see a need for manufacturing Egyptian shoes?
There is a huge gap in the design and manufacturing field in Egypt. Women are looking for brands that make high-quality, comfortable shoes, that are both unique and appropriately priced.
However, you get manufacturers on the one hand wanting to cut corners and use poor materials to save as little is fifty pence; and, on the other hand, you have designers who over-price their pieces, and others who do not want to risk doing something different out of fear of losing sales.
Egyptian women deserve to wear fashionable, comfortable shoes, made with premium materials. My dream is to one day export Cielito shoes all over the world, so the whole world would see the beauty of Egyptian manufacturing and design.
We would like to hear from you and to share your story about how you embarked on a path towards a more sustainable, healthy and nutritious lifestyle.
If you are a company we would love to learn about what you have been doing to make your business more carbon neutral, reduce waste or how you changed your production process and redesigned your products.
If you are in individual, we would like to hear about your personal journey to adopt a more sustainable, healthy and nutritious lifestyle.
We believe that we can learn from each other`s successes and failures and how they overcame the challenges they faced. This is why we would like to profile stories that our audience sends to us.
We would welcome hearing from you, send us your story ( less than 200 words please) with a picture. Send these to: