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Press Release

October 28, 2015

Chapati design spans a colourful bridge between East and West

• The fashion label’s success story is closely linked to that of Bazaar Berlin
• Fair trade materials and fair working conditions are part of the company’s philosophy
• Bazaar Berlin takes place from 18 to 22 November 2015

Berlin, 28 October 2015 – Hamid Mohammadi always used to have a liking for natural fashion materials and extravagant lines. However, it was not until after he visited the Import Shop Berlin in 1997 that the young man with a degree in Plastics Engineering was able to turn his passion into a career. One year later his first collection came on the market which featured four different lines and a total of 300 items. Nowadays, Chapati Design runs eight stores in Berlin and a franchise in Nürnberg. Managing director Mohammadi and his 32 employees supply around 190 retailers and a large number of consumers in Europe and abroad.

18 years have passed since Mohammadi’s first meeting with an Indian clothing manufacturer and the success of his business today, and every November since then he has exhibited at the Import Shop, now called Bazaar Berlin. Hamid Mohammadi: “Everything began with the Import Shop. It accompanied us all those years and became a sort of second home for Chapati Design. We value the cosmopolitan nature of its visitors and use the fair to promote our shops. We look forward to our next ’home fixture’, Bazaar Berlin 2015.“ This year Chapati Design will be represented in Halls 18 and 15.1.

More than just bread

The fashion label name Chapati is an Indian word meaning ’bread’. For the company’s founder it symbolises breadwinning, making a livelihood, self-employment and independence.

Mohammadi fled Iran many years ago. Speaking on the subject of migrants and the current debate he quotes the official figures, according to which 42 per cent of migrants living in Germany are self-employed. “In Germany, 20 per cent of new companies are set up by migrants and 40 per cent of them have employees. Unfortunately, that is a statistic no one ever mentions“, the 49 year-old says.

The Chapati label provides a livelihood not only for employees in Germany. Its clothing items are made by a company in India, whose workforce now represents the second generation of employees. They number 148 and receive a fixed monthly wage. “This guarantees they never need work under time pressure“, says Hamid Mohammadi.

He adds: “We provide direct and unbureaucratic support for the families who earn a living at Chapati.“ In agreement with the clothing manufacturer purchase prices were raised to provide employees with an extra bonus in the shape of an additional monthly wage. “Since 2013 this has been paid ahead of the Diwali festival of lights, at a time of year when families traditionally spend a lot of extra money.“

In addition to providing fair working conditions and direct support for its employees Chapati takes great care in its choice of clothing materials. “Since the summer of 2013 we have consistently increased the percentage of organically grown cotton in our products“, says Mohammadi. “At present, almost 80 per cent of our collection is made from GOTS-certified organic cotton.“ This demonstrates Chapati’s support for organic cotton farming where no environmentally harmful substances are used and water consumption is minimal.

Spanning a colourful bridge between East and West

From 18 to 22 November Chapati Design will be exhibiting its latest collections for men, women and children at Bazaar Berlin, where once again the focus will be on outstanding creations made from natural materials. The company’s founder Mohammadi sees his collection as “spanning a colourful bridge between East and West“ and this year he will again be taking the opportunity to talk about the label’s philosophy to old and new customers alike: “Life is a kaleidoscope of colours, languages, images and songs. Chapati weaves clothes that bring you peace, that you can put on like a robe, pass on with a smile to a stranger who will recognise them and will become your friend.“ And to those visiting the stand of Chapati Design he will no doubt say: “Don’t you think this philosophy is more relevant today than ever?“

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About Bazaar Berlin

Launched in 1962 as Partners for Progress, the international consumer exhibition for handicrafts, jewellery, textiles and home accessoires changed its name to Bazaar Berlin in 2014. Every year in November around 40,000 visitors come to the Berlin Exhibition Grounds to purchase exotic articles from around the world, either to keep or to give away as gifts. Last year the new FAIR TRADE MARKET made its successful debut. Bazaar Berlin is organised by Messe Berlin GmbH.

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