Amos Marchant Design Studio
Industrial Product Design Studio

CONSULTANT: Joined-Up Thinking

Joined-Up Thinking



afghan action: carpet weaving project

Afghan Action has been working in Kabul since 2005 and is helping develop Afghanistan by training a new generation of weavers.

Despite major international reconstruction efforts, Afghanistan remains one of the world’s poorest and most dangerous countries - struggling to get back on its feet, whilst remaining dependent on military, charity and government aid.

The Department for International Development (DFID) through its Business Linkages Challenge Fund - administered by the Emerging Markets Group (EMG), an offshoot of Deloittes, introduced us to the charity in 2005, as consultants we developed a business model to enable Afghan Action to effectively market the carpets produced by the trainees.

As a business strategy tool, we used design to drive demand and connected Afghan Action to our contacts at Habitat UK. Our proposal was simple and crucially closed the loop of supply and demand. Habitat would design the rugs and order them from Afghan Action, who in turn would make-to-order.

Design concepts took traditional rug designs and made them contemporary by rescaling them. The familiarity of the designs also played to their strengths and ensured production could be achieved with ease. Their contemporary Afghan wool rugs are hand made on traditional looms woven using the wool of Ghazni sheep and using natural dyes bolstered by more modern dying techniques for bolder colours.

Afghan Action is an charitable social enterprise established in UK and Afghanistan to bring the brighter future for hundreds of Afghans including women and children. Since opening they have trained, educated and employed hundreds of young people. Their focus has been on training people ideally to create an entrepreneurial ripple effect across the country.