World's first sustainable shoe designed in Bangladesh, made in Europe

_A Monitor Report Date: 01 March, 2023
Bangladeshi designer Rokaiya Ahmed Purna

Dhaka : In mid-January 2023, a 'vegan sneaker' known as the "ekn Kamthala," designed with inspiration taken from Bangladesh's national fruit the jackfruit, was launched as the world's first sustainable shoe "designed in Bangladesh and made in Europe," as a collaborative statement by the Bang-ladeshi designer Rokaiya Ahmed Purna and Frankfurt-based eco-sneaker brand ekn. 

In an effort to flip the script on the fashion world's unethical practices in the Global South, their purpose is to spotlight talented fashion designers in ethnic countries and regions that are usually exploited by the fashion world's unethical practices and inhumane work environments.

Rokaiya Ahmed Purna is considered one of South Asia's leading fashion designers from Bangladesh. The Dhaka resident specialises in native textiles and expresses her cultural background throughout her collections, exemplified in her own "RAP" label that has become much more than a destination for timeless Bangladeshi culture fusion and couture. 

After showing her stunning collection at Russia's Fashion Week in 2019, the designer was identified for redefining Bangladeshi fashion on the world stage, with her cultural fabrics, folk motifs and textiles that exude her country's heritage and intriguing ethnicity.

Rokaiya has also made it her life's mission to help empower ethnic and minority women through skill development training, in an effort to inspire others from her homeland who may like to follow in her footsteps when pursuing a career in fashion or the visual arts.

The ekn Kamthala is a stylish unisex sneaker inspired by Rokaiya's homeland, its national fruit, and made with vegan materials. 
It is now available worldwide at

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