We have been in suspense over Noor Couture for sometime. They are launching this month and we couldn't be more excited! Noor Couture is a U.S. based shop catering to the modest professional woman. Noor Couture is promising to bring business suits and separates. That means no more shop-hoping for items to put together a modest business attire.
The upcoming shop has some sneak peeks at what we might be getting. Check-out their FB page here. It doesn't end there, Noor Couture means serious business behind their work. They are made in the U.S. under business strict ethical guidelines that protect workers and part of the earnings are donated. We had a small talk with its CEO and designer, Robin Church on Noor Couture and its upcoming launch.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your entrepreneur inspiration to launch Noor Couture.
"I reverted to Islam in 1980 and ever since have struggled to find modest clothing that met the criteria of Islamic dress, i.e. that only the face and hands are uncovered. At that time, the choices were very limited. I would sew my own clothing or have it sewn by seamstresses. Sometimes I would find a suitable item in one of the retail stores. It was never easy. When I started working, it became even more difficult. I needed professional clothing appropriate for work that met Islamic criteria. I still sewed and was able to put together outfits, however, though they coordinated they didn't match and sometimes needed a tweak here or there. What was important is they accomplished the main objective. I was always getting asked where I got my outfits and it was often a creation of my own. It occurred to me that it would be a service to other women living in the west to develop a line that reflected our lifestyle and covered what must be covered. The inspiration for Noor Couture occurred in Ramadan 2007. I wanted to develop Noor Couture without interest based borrowing, so it's taken a long time to reach this point. I ran out of funds at several points, al hamdu liIllah. It was a blessing as it gave me time to ponder what was truly important as I conducted a business. I researched ethical business practices and travelled to Bangladesh to make contact with some women's NGO's there. I saw the suffering caused by exploitative labor practices. Human slavery and domestic violence are endemic, as is domestic violence everywhere, in every community on earth. As a result, I was inspired to commit to donating a portion of profits to support NGO's that work to eradicate domestic violence in the Muslim community and beyond, as well as NGO's that combat human slavery. I'm so excited that we're launching in Ramadan 2013. Our website is scheduled to premiere the first week, so watch for us."
What is Noor Couture about?
"Noor Couture is about modest, sophisticated professional clothing for women of faith with the work environment especially in mind. Our garments are made in the USA in factories that exhibit fair labor practices. Noor Couture features business suits and separates that look and feel great. The original patterns are developed in cooperation with expert pattern makers and made of gorgeous natural textiles such as silk, cotton, and rayon. Much thought has gone into the design and wearability of our garments in different climates. We are also about conscious consumerism. We take very seriously the Qur'anic admonition not to oppress others. We strive to manufacture in such a way that we don't exploit workers. One only has to think of what has happened in Bangladesh in the last 6 months to realize the exorbitant human cost of greed. Unfortunately, sweatshops are also present in the US so it's important for a designer to be acquainted with the people doing the work to ensure compliance with local laws. Yes, it costs more to manufacture when workers are treated fairly and paid well, however, the alternative is inhumane and ethically unacceptable."
What kind of woman is Noor Couture?
"The Noor Couture woman is professional, confident, and sophisticated, engaged in the world around her as well as her inner world. She is a conscious consumer, aware of and caring about the provenance of the merchandise she purchases. When I first started ramping up Noor Couture, I was discussing my dream with a lawyer who had heard about what I was trying to do. I still remember what she said and try to keep it in mind. She said, "I get up there in front of the Judge, the other lawyer is standing there in his Armani suit and I'm standing there in clothes I've tried to put together from three different stores. It's not an even match." I think the blossoming of the Islamic fashion field answers such needs. And Allah SWT knows best."
Noor Couture is set to launch during Ramadan. Like their Facebook Page here to stay updated on their latest press releases. www.noorcouture.com