Relaunching after a yearlong hiatus, Rafeya is back with a new line of classic silhouettes in bold colours.
Back from a yearlong break, Egyptian fashion brand Rafeya is relaunching its line with a new custom ordering process designed to include women of all shapes and sizes. The ethics-conscious brand is run by Noura Galal, who employs local women from low-income neighbourhoods. Galal's dream is to empower women through fashion: the clothing is designed with the goal of making women of all shapes and sizes look and feel beautiful, and the working women who produce the clothing have shares in each product they make. Galal doesn’t like to think of them as employees though; to her, they’re her partners.The determined entrepreneur, who launched Rafeya in 2014, took a step back last year because at the time she was already working two full-time jobs and she found that her brand was not getting the support and time it deserved. She temporarily put her business on hold. But circumstances have changed and Galal is now fully committed to Rafeya as her sole focus. The resurrected brand is participating in Orange’s Social Venture competition, facing off against other startups in Africa and the Middle East. Galal, who was previously featured as one of the notable entrepreneurs of Startup Scene's 25 Under 25 was, and still is, committed to social change and making an impact on her community.She rehired many of the local women she had worked with before the hiatus. When the garments are done being produced, if there’s leftover fabric, it doesn't go to waste. “We collect it and give it to the women from the community to create accessories from, and they benefit from the profit themselves, not Rafeya,” she said. Galal decided to relaunch Rafeya because her customers still had a strong interest in her designs and she wanted to once again work with the women in her community who had inspired her.Rafeya’s main focus is client customization. Buyers can visit the brand's newly-launched site, Rafeya Fashion, where “the customer will be able to choose the neckline, sleeve length, skirt length, and basically any component of the product,” said Galal. The site is meant to celebrate beauty in a diversity of different body shapes and clothing style choices. Her most recent promotional shoot featured four different women of varying body types, so that customers can feel represented at any size.The brand's policy is that if the item doesn’t fit the customer, they’ll adjust it for her and deliver it back in four days or replace it entirely without charging her. All items returned to Rafeya will be donated to non-profit associations.