Genet Kebede opened “Paradise” Fashion (the English translation of her name) in 1992 with a desire to focus on and promote hand-woven clothing made from traditional Ethiopian cotton with distinctive hand-spun yarns.
Weaving is the most important non-agricultural source of income in Ethiopia, particularly for rural families. The spinning of the raw cotton and weaving is a unique and specialized craft, passed down from family to family.
Genet enjoys creating unique textile designs. She experimented with using natural products that she could find around her to dye her hand woven scarves. She was soon able to fine-tune this skill and has successfully created hand woven scarves dyed with turmeric and coffee waste (after making coffee from crushed beans and powder).
Paradise Fashions is proud to employ 80 weavers in Chencha, one of the districts in Gamo Gofa Zone, which is considered the Ethiopian hub of handloom weaving with many weavers.
Genet maintains close relationships with the Chencha weavers as well as 15 permanent employees in her workshop in Addis. Over the years, Genet has trained them to become involved in all the pattern making processes, stitching, designing and hand finishing of the textiles designs. She is passionate about promoting local Ethiopian materials and empowering skilled artisans in her community.