How often do you know exactly who made the clothes you wear? Well if you receive a Dom Amsterdam bag you can know for sure that it was carefully crafted in Amsterdam by Mohamad. Mohamad is originally from Syria where he worked for 30 years as a tailor for TV stations and commercial partners. And then during the crisis, he worked as a volunteer managing a clothing factory of the Sons of Palestine Foundation. He left Syria for Amsterdam in 2017, met the guys from Dom the same year and has been producing for them ever since. We asked Zheng Ou van den Berg, co-founder of Dom Amsterdam, to tell us a bit about their relationship.

What prompted the decision to approach production differently from other brands?

We have deliberately chosen a local producer to be as closely involved as possible in the production process and thereby minimize the adverse effects of transport. We both believe that sustainability and an ethical production process is key for every brand. Unfortunately the fashion industry is way behind and that’s why we chose for a different approach. We wanted to show that a sustainable fashion brand could also produce fashionable items without damaging nature or people.

How did you meet Mohamad?

We met Mohammed through local NGO Makers Unite. They have set up a network of creative newcomers from refugee backgrounds, whom they match to their next professional step within the Dutch creative industries. We visited Makers Unite for the first time and had a meeting with the managers. At Makers Unite we met all tailors including Mohamad, he was the one who was going to focus on the production for our brand.

You're now working directly with Mohamad at Alaraj Atelier, can you tell us about that?

There is no single middleman between Mohamad and us. So we work directly together which makes it easy to meet, produce and pick up the products. Because Mohamad worked a lot for Makers Unite and Refugee Company he can use their machines and working place for his own business. Mohamad started his own business and Diede and I are helping him with everything he needs like acquisition, a website (coming soon!), social media and content. We've known each other for some time now and we became more than producer and customer; we are friends and business partners.

Thanks Zheng!

Find out more about Dom Amsterdam and shop the collection HERE