Best of Both Worlds: Fashionable and Sustainable

RK'réation

1. No Poverty 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

This innovation manufactures its jewelry using eco-friendly material, and promotes sustainability and responsibility through slow fashion. Furthermore, engaging local artisans in the business aligns with the first SDG which is about eliminating poverty, as consumer behavior shifted towards purchasing daily needs during the pandemic.


Authors

Khaoula Qassibi

Khaoula Qassibi

hajar dehhak

hajar dehhak

School

Al Akhawayn University

Al Akhawayn University

Professor

Mary Grace Neville

Mary Grace Neville

Innovation

RK’reation acknowledges the impact jewelry production can have on the environment. Accordingly, it focused its innovative business idea on ethically producing jewelry by using eco-friendly material such as 925 sterling silver and raphia to sustainably make and package its creations. Rim, the founder of RK’reation, asserts that: “Fashion and jewelry are more than just wearing pieces that make you feel good. They should both be sustainable and responsible. When I am wearing a piece of jewelry or clothing and I know that it takes into account the environmental impact it can have, I actually feel more confident and beautiful. I feel human”.

As the pandemic unraveled, another innovative aspect of RK’reation emerged to help artisans threatened by the unsettling times. Rim was on partial unemployment and she started intrinsically worrying about how artisans can make a living during the current crisis. This made her take positive action by collaborating with them to create her jewelry. Also, in addition to payment for the artisans' work, she donated $1 to them for each item sold, which aligns with both SDG 1 and SDG 8. RK’reation emphasizes ethical production, sustainability, and local small businesses. All in all, the aim was “to create responsible and sustainable jewelry and to preserve craftspeople during the current crisis as both the environment and the human being are the most valuable assets on earth.”

Best of Both Worlds: Fashionable and Sustainable

Inspiration

Appreciating art from a young age, Rim pursued a master’s in art & communication in Paris. “I was inspired by my mother’s passion for art since she is a painter.” In addition, she has always been in love with jewelry. she laughed as she said, “ I could never go out without my rings, they are part of me.” All of this eventually pushed her to create her brand while simultaneously working as a marketing manager. At first, back in 2019, she designed and handmade her pieces by herself. Fast Forward to October 2020, she went back to her country of Morocco during the pandemic, so she had enough time to expand her business and decided to collaborate with local artisans. “October 2020, it’s when it all really started, it wasn’t just about me anymore. ” Her moral values and social responsibility are what gave her the idea of hiring artisans, seeing as they were drastically affected by the pandemic. “Due to the pandemic, small artisans were affected badly since there were no more tourists.” Moreover, she thought collaborating with them would also promote eco-friendly, ethically made products.

Overall impact

Since RK’ reation only uses 100% recyclable and eco-friendly materials, it has a positive impact on the environment since that is what the brand stands for. “The objective of my business is to raise awareness regarding the environment, and also encourage people to go for handmade jewelry.” Besides, Rim wants to promote responsible consumption and production through slow fashion. She creates jewelry upon request and does not do mass production. “I only produce the piece of jewelry when there’s an order to avoid waste.”

The brand does not only have an impact on the environment but also on society since the brand also has a humanitarian approach.“I would rather make less money and help jobless Moroccan artisans than have machines make my jewelry faster and destroy the environment.” Furthermore, she stated that one of her goals is to influence people to change their minds about the arts and crafts world. “I just want to help the artisanal economy. My aim is not to make a fortune, but to show the world that handmade jewelry with eco-friendly material can also be beautiful and fashionable at a very affordable price.”

Business benefit

Making unique and affordable jewelry made her brand grow faster along with its sustainable purpose that encourages mindful environmentalists to support her business and the artisans working with her. “When clients find out that I donate $1 to artisans for every purchase they made, they order more pieces.” This shows that the business’ priority to make a difference in the world is what helped it thrive. The noble purpose behind her business made it more profitable than a regular business that just aims to make a profit.

Social and environmental benefit

The innovation of creating jewelry that aims to protect the environment by using environmentally friendly material did minimize the use of non-recyclable and harmful material. In fact, according to Earthworks, It takes 20 tons of waste to produce one gold ring, and each year over 180 million tons of toxic waste is dumped in rivers and seas. Moreover, artisans working with her started making more profit than they used to which contributed to promoting their businesses. “ Since artisans were willing to make my designs as they were on paper, I decided to give them extra profit with each item I sell.”In fact, Rim sees her business expanding in the future; evolving and growing more to inspire and help as many people as possible since she is only working with10 artisans for now. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make my brand as inspiring as possible.”

Interview

Rim Karrakchou, Founder

Photo of interviewee

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RK'réation

RK'réation

Rabat, Rabat-Salé-Kénitra, MA

Business Website: https://rkreation-bijoux.com/fr/

Year Founded: 2019

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

RK‘reation is a small business based in Morocco founded in 2019 by Rim Karrakchou, a young woman who believes that art can contribute to positive change in the world. The business offers unique, handcrafted jewelry using eco-conscious material, collaborating with local Moroccan craftsmen who have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to help boost both sides’ bottom-line. Apart from being fashionable and affordable, each piece of jewelry has a story to tell and is linked to a specific place in Morocco.