Moroccan girl turns fish skins into bags, shoes and accessories

Hajar Ismail - Casablanca

Do you imagine wearing a pair of salmon leather or purchasing a leather bag made of leather? This is what the Moroccan engineer Nawal Allawi, 26, who graduated from the high school of textiles and clothing in Casablanca, achieved through her " .

Project Idea
The beginning - as Nawal told Al Jazeera Net - was from the village of Sidi Rahal near the industrial capital of the Kingdom (Casablanca) in 2015.

"For the duration of my studies, I was interested in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship, so I joined a youth organization that works to support youth projects," said Nawal. "I was asked to find a project idea that would solve a social problem in Morocco and also have a profit margin."

"During my visit to the village of Sidi Rahhal, I noticed the smell of the village, which is very unpleasant, and this smell causes the skins, skins and fish residues that the village women work on purifying them and extracting the meat from the thorns, which exposes them to serious health problems caused by some fish, Some of them go to the human, in addition to the injury of their hands from thorns and the exposure of children to many types of sensitive sensitivities, and of course, in addition to this work is not fixed, exposing them and their families to fluctuate the economic situation, as well as health problems.

Nawal returned to university accommodation where she lived and began to search, to be surprised that for centuries the Irish wore clothing made from fish skins and was warmed and distinguished, and this was her guide to the establishment of a company to reuse the skins and waste of non-consumable fish and converted to products of natural leather such as shoes Bags and accessories dyed with natural pigments as well.

Nawal's experiences were self-financed without any outside support (al-Jazeera)

hard exam
The idea may seem easy and simple and none of us can implement it, but Nawal has gone through very difficult stages to remember it with Al Jazeera Net.

"In the beginning, the Inakts specialists' committee rejected the idea, and told me it was impossible to make skins of fish without smell, and I was explicitly challenged. The university refused to use the labs for experiments, so I had to test in my room, Chemical in university housing ".

"But I insisted and kept testing for a whole year until I managed to extract usable skins from the salmon skin, which I used to get from a sushi restaurant every day for testing."

Nawal's experiments were self-financed, she spent all her savings on her experiments, eventually succeeded in extracting artificial leather and won the challenge of the INACTS panel of experts, and received $ 2,000 in funding, the first core of her project.

Great market
The Kingdom is the first African country to produce fish, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) State of Fisheries and Aquaculture 2008 report. Morocco's total natural fish production for 2016 is 1.43 million tonnes.

So Nawal has a great chance of extracting natural, artificial skin from all kinds of fish. Today, she buys fish waste from Moroccan restaurants after she gets it free because it requires them to cut fish and skin.

As for the steps of the manufacturing process, she tells Al Jazeera Net: "We take the skin of the fish and get rid of the crusts and the meat compartments, then cover the skin with a mixture of local herbs that are found in Morocco and remain for ten days, then be cleaned, then dyed with completely natural materials, Bags, shoes and accessories "

"The women of the village of Sidi Rahal and other nearby villages work with us permanently and continuously in this process and get one of them about two thousand dirhams, equivalent to two hundred dollars if the work days exceeded ten days."

Princess Megan was very impressed with the project's products (Al Jazeera)

Princess Megan
Nawal Ali received an opportunity to present her project to the British Prince Harry and his wife, Princess Megan, during their last visit to Morocco at the end of February.

"We were marketing inside and outside the Moroccan market, relying on our products to be 100 percent natural and we do not use any chemical or industrial materials," she said.