Hend Riad, Mariam Hazem
Reform Studio is an internationally-renowned ethical accessories brand, founded in Egypt in 2012 by Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem. Their goal is to design for a cause, creating responsible and sustainable products that are beneficial to their environment. Their signature material is Plastex—a striking material which Reform Studio created from upcycling discarded plastic bags—to remedy one of Egypt’s major environmental problems. This prolongs the lifespan of a plastic bag, saving it from polluting the earth as landfill.
Though Plastex is Reform Studio’s primary medium, the brand has also worked to revive Egypt’s weaving industry, restoring the ancient craft that is on the brink of extinction due to fast-fashion and mass-production practices of the corporate clothing and textile industry. By focusing on empowering local communities and encouraging craftsmanship, Reform Studio has been able to provide new job opportunities for the unemployed, and allow local women to gain employable skills and create new sources of revenue.
The brand, which makes shoes and handbags, received the 2014 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards (MENA), in addition to being selected as one of five African labels to produce limited edition capsule for IKEA in 2017. “Problems are an important source of inspiration to us,” the founders told the Swedish furniture giant about what drives them. “Whenever we start working on a new project, we walk the streets to observe people’s daily lives.”
- Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, MENA, 2014
- Silver A' Design Award, Winner for Sustainable Products, Projects and Green Design Category, 2013
- SaloneSatellite, 2nd Prize Award, 2013
- Design+Industry Competition, Winner, 2012