BY: Ghulam Jamil
Style for Syria is a not-for-profit clothing collection being carried under creative label OUTTA LINE. As the name suggests, all profit from their clothing sales go towards supporting Syrian refugees in Canada. The funds donated from the collection will be used to assist local organizations during the resettlement process. MY Voice Magazine Canada got an interview with Eyad Abdalla, one of the three university students who started this project.
MV: What inspired you guys to start this project up?
EA: I met Conor through a friend who connected us because Conor needed a website for his startup. We sat down in a cafe and started to talk. We found that we have a lot of shared views and concerns regarding the state our world is in right now. We also found that both of us want to do something about it – especially about the refugee crisis which tore us apart. He expressed to me his interest in art, music and fashion and his desire to help ease the suffering of the refugees by using creative elements. Sitting down with him, seeing his charisma and passion, I jumped in with him, and promised to help in whichever capacity I could.
MV: Could you detail the process of getting your project started up?
EA: The project started by us sitting in a cafe and Conor pulling out a sketch book full of designs he had drawn up of sweaters and shirts. We knew we had a good idea, we knew we had a good way to come together as Canadians to help our fellow brothers and sisters.
We started out with a pure desire to help and a firm belief that we could do it. We had never done anything like this. Never designed, manufactured, or sold clothing. But this was more than that.
The most important thing to executing anything is to have a plan set in place. You need to be organized with tasks, deadlines and goals. So that is what we started with. From there our priority was to move our designs to photoshop and to find a manufacturer. Which weren’t easy tasks by any means. Conor went through tens of manufacturers before we were able to find the right one, a manufacturer here in Toronto that was able to give us the quality we need for costs this project can afford. From there we started to look into the sales and marketing of the project and planned our launch.
MV: What are your goals for this project, and do you guys have a finish line?
EA: Our goal for this project was to create awareness. To show people, and the world, that Canadians are a people of various cultures and colours, and that no matter the ethnicity or creed you come from, we will give a helping hand if you need it. We have definitely hit wonderful milestones with this project, such as selling most of our initial order. Now we will be focused on coordinating some events for the Syrian community and specifically the children.
To learn more about the project, please visit styleforsyria.com