ETHICAL SOURCING

When Janice and Mohamed Masoud first formed their vision for Under the Nile, they searched high and low to find a manufacturer whose philosophy and ethics mirrored their own. They finally found their match in SEKEM, a company in Egypt whose care for people and for the environment both impressed and inspired them. They formed a partnership and lasting friendship, and to this day all Under the Nile products are sourced solely from SEKEM.

About SEKEM

SEKEM was founded by Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish in 1977 and is located about 60 km northeast of Cairo in rural Egypt. In 2003 the SEKEM Initiative was honored with the Right Livelihood Award for its holistic business model which integrates societal and cultural dimensions and thereby successfully supports sustainable development. With the practices of biodynamic agriculture, Dr. Abouleish turned desert land into fertile soils. Today, these soils form the very basis for the successful cultivation of cotton, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

The raw materials are further processed by the companies of the SEKEM Group to create high quality textiles, food and medicines, which are sold on the national and international market. The returns of these companies are partly reinvested into the social and cultural activities. Today the SEKEM Development Foundation runs a school, a medical center, a vocational training center, various programs for socially disadvantaged children and several research and training programs. Furthermore, the foundation is currently engaged in establishing the Heliopolis University for sustainable development. SEKEM`s approach of sustainable development unites social, cultural and economic components interacting in harmony with nature.

With every Under the Nile purchase you make, you are supporting SEKEM and helping to sustain its amazing and transformative programs.

The SEKEM Special Education provides a variety of educational and therapeutic programs for children and young adults with special needs, such as physical and mental disabilities and serious learning difficulties. SEKEM workers take breaks throughout the day for eurythmy. Eurythmy is a performance art, often used in both education andas a movement therapy. In daily work life, it can help in a variety of ways. For example, monotonous movements at machines or work fatigue harden the body; taking deep breaths and doing simple movements relax the body and the mind, and allow people to recharge. The SEKEM Medical Center is part of a comprehensive plan for community development. Patient education and health awareness programs are designed to meet the needs of the local community. The Medical Center offers health care services for the SEKEM employees and the general public. Their services include: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, ENT (ear, nose and throat), Ophthalmology, Gynecology, Urology, Dermatology,  Neurology, Orthopedy, Dentistry and Cardiology.

Meet our family! Click on a video below to hear from one of the people that make the stories behind our products:
Hi, my name is Amr

Hi, my name is Anne

Hi, my name is Fadia

Hi, my name is Tamer



Fair Wages and Fair Trade

The official minimum wage in Egypt is too low to ensure living wages and, therefore, it does not serve SEKEM as guidance for its compensation policy. A National Wage Council was created some years ago to address this issue. Yet, as long as there is no fair national wage policy, SEKEM assures that salaries above a legal
minimum will be paid.

All of SEKEM’s farms and processing facilities are Fairtrade certified according to Fairtrade International (FLO). Fairtrade premiums for our cotton farms go into many different projects, based on the needs of the community. Past projects have included literacy programs, building bathroom facilities, creating first aid kits, water cooling machines, and erecting a mobile antenna so that
people could use cell phones. The premiums have also gone into purchasing livestock for eggs, milk, etc.


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