Help us work with Iranian artisans

£2,895 of £7,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 2 months

We are Delam, and need your help to sustain our business in order to fund future collaborations with female artisans that bring ancient handcraft techniques, found exclusively in Iran, to the modern market. We aim to bring exposure to artisan communities through the fashion and homeware worlds in order to help them thrive.  Our uniqueness lies in our connection with Iran, currently an untapped market with such a rich history that we always keep at the forefront of everything we produce. 

Introduction
We believe in bringing value to the women behind many of these artisanal techniques, to help support their livelihoods. Funding will allow us to continue working with Iran as well as meeting new artisans.
We eventually aim to create a map of Iran and its hidden treasures, bringing to light centuries-old crafts and ensuring their longevity for future generations. This is not a charity endeavour, but a business venture that aims to be transparent, sustainable, and ethical. 

All images pictured are the work of documentary photographer Tahmineh Monzavi, who accompanied us to Shiraz last year in order to capture the lives of the women we work with. 
29871168_1532338818513572_r.jpeg[Above:  Women of the tribe we visited last year. Photo: Tahmineh Monzavi]

We are not a start up; creating beautiful knitwear in the heart of London since 2016, our cashmere is naturally dyed in Shiraz using ancient methods repurposed from the creation of Gabbeh rugs. We have two projects and collaborations under our belts, and have grown to understand our place in the market - one that no one else is occupying. You can learn more about our processes, techniques, and collaborations at delamlondon.com.

Our Plan
Our first point of action will be to explore different areas of Shiraz to meet new artisans local to the area where we dyed our first collection. We will learn about each artisan’s area of expertise, collaborating with them to design a new range that helps translate their handicraft for the modern luxury market. 
It is important for us to work with them directly to ensure their profits are not diminished by middlemen. 
Each piece will come with a ‘garment passport’ containing photos and information showing where and how it was made, the history and culture of the area, and the stories of individual artisans that produced it. 
29871168_1530795471744852_r.jpeg [Above left: The Brenda jumper designed in collaboration with Craig Lawrence. Photo: Theresa Marx.  Above Right: The yarn used to make this piece being dyed in an open-vat in Shiraz. Photo: Tahmineh Monzavi]
29871168_1530794409603332_r.jpeg[Above left: The women of the tribe working on a Gabbeh carpet. Right: A lady creates yoghurt from the milk of goats from their herd. Photo: Tahmineh Monzavi]

Why we need your help
The company was handed to me, Elnaz, after our founder Lili passed away in December 2017.

Lili was much more than a boss; she was my confidante, our friend, whose passion put us on our paths. She loved her country for its heart which is so rarely shown, and above all worked to make sure people are appreciated, recognised, and heard. This drove her forwards even throughout her illness, always remaining positive and open-hearted in the face of pain and hardship. It is a huge testament to Lili that not only did her work prove experts wrong, but ended up inspiring them in turn. Lili always led by example and made us want to strive for ourselves and what we believe in, and for this we will be eternally thankful to her.

We had a choice to carry on her work or liquidate the company. For us the choice was obvious; this company gave us a new sense of pride in what we do and a connection to people and stories that we would never have encountered otherwise. This is why we are asking for support to take the next steps for Delam.
29871168_1531497517569338_r.jpeg[Above pictured left-to-right: Tahmineh Monzavi, documentary photographer; Daria, Lili’s daughter; Sanaz, our quality control inspector; and Lili, Delam’s founder.]

Goals for the future
To create a map of craftsmanship around Iran, building the infrastructure support the self-sufficiency of artisans so it can grow organically. 

How it all began
Lili’s first project was a culmination of three years of research; learning about the natural dyes used for Gabbeh carpets, how to transfer these techniques from wool to fine cashmere, and finally meeting the Qashqai tribe of Shiraz.

This culminated in a release of a cashmere knitwear collection, and subsequently a collaboration with knitwear designer Craig Lawrence. But at its core Delam was never a fast-fashion brand; it was about finding a different medium to introduce the stories and culture of Iran to a new audience.
29871168_1530792866668700_r.jpeg[Above: A factory worker carrying our yarn to be shipped after it has dried in the sun. Photo: Tahmineh Monzavi]
Funding Tiers


1st tier
Funding a new research trip to Iran to meet the artisans, including their payment for samples which they will develop with us. This includes the cost of local raw materials and meeting with our team in Iran.

2nd tier 
Help  design and develop products with the artisans, including the first payment for production with them. Just one payment for their expertise ensures a family’s financial stability for half a year.


3rd tier 
To create video content and photography 

4th tier 
To support the artisans in Iran through sustained business, but build our base in the UK. This will help immensely in sourcing an office space, and contribute to events to showcase the artisans work alongside marketing ourselves.


5th tier 
Ensure our longevity in order to plan future projects; allowing us to work with wholesalers and distributors, funding pop-ups around London and the rest of the UK.  This will also go towards sustaining our team in Iran, employing full-time staff to look after the artisans we work with, whilst searching for new artisans to contact.


Your Contribution

Below are the rewards we offer for varying donation amounts.

 Whoever donates to our Go Fund Me campaign will be automatically entered into a raffle to win one of our beautiful Delam       sweaters. 

£50+
A choice of one of two special edition prints by Iranian artist Afsoon Afsoonagain or Poppy chancellor 

£200+   
A piece from our current stock selection book 1

£350+
A piece from our current stock selection book 2
A limited edition printed with artwork by Iranian artist Afsoon Afsoonagain or Poppy chancellor 

£500+
 A piece from our current stock selection book 2
A limited edition  printed with artwork by Iranian artist Afsoon Afsoonagain or Poppy chancellor 
A selection of two pieces from our current stock selection book 1 or 2

29871168_1532339474700796_r.jpeg[Above: A woman of the Qashqai tribe knots a Gabbeh rug on our last trip to Shiraz, using wool hand-dyed with native ingredients. Photo: Tahmineh Monzavi]

Ultimately, we have so much potential as a brand and a movement, and simply lack the funds to make it happen.

We are only here for a short amount of time, and we have a duty to ourselves to make this time count. To do something we truly believe in and have a passion for - and to not be scared of creating a new path.
Even though we are a small company we have the drive, and most importantly an idea, that can make a big difference to the artisans and bring people closer together. We hope that you would like to be a part of that.  
29871168_1530797465444175_r.jpeg[Above left: A Qashqai tribeswoman attending to her herd of goats, which sustain the tribe. Above Right: A Qashqai tribeswoman in traditional dress, pictured in the mountains of Shiraz. Photo: Tahmineh Monzavi]
29871168_153149762770320_r.jpeg[Above: Lili and I hard at work on the shop floor, 2016]


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£2,895 of £7,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 2 months
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