Sustainability in Doha - A conversation with fashion and textile designer Mashael Alnaimi
Years of Culture
Mashael Alnaimi founded Mhefhef in Doha in 2020 to create pieces that are all natural, sustainable and timeless. “The brand name is Mhefhef, which means breezy or flowy - lightness. The idea is to have 100% organic or natural fabrics. Materials that are sustainable, eco friendly and that people would wear and be happy with.
Mashael explained, “In the past, they used natural fabrics and natural dye. It’s how we’ve done it before, when all these vibrant colours came from the earth, from nature. There’s nothing to stop us from continuing to do that.”
Craftsmanship is at the heart of Mashael's designs, collaborating with artisans from various parts of the world. The brand uses handwoven fabrics as canvases for textile art such as shibori, hand-painting, texturing, felting and eco printing.
Mashael introduced Upcycled Abayas, handmade entirely from fabric waste that would have otherwise been sent to landfill. Most recently Mashael experimented with the unconventional technique of henna print on silk for M7’s ZWARA Doha Dreams design programme in 2022.
On the importance of sustainability, Mashael goes on to say, “Climate change is a reality whether we like it or not. It is happening. Whatever we can do is important, it’s essential. It’s for us, your children, your grandchildren. To be sustainable is just doing the right thing.”
There are no chemicals used at all with eco printing. “It’s not just sustainable but absolutely beautiful - a labour of love”.