glossary

acasa.berlin

acasa.berlin is our new trading partner in Germany and handles all orders from within the European Union. This safes our customers complications at customs and high shipping costs. Judith Schwyter sends our products directly from the acasa showroom in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Judith is not only part of the fouta team, but has been a close friend of Sarra since their bachelor studies in design. With acasa.berlin Judith focuses on transparency and shows the people behind the products. We are exited to be working together!
 

Organic cotton

All fouta towels are made of high-quality organic cotton from controlled organic cultivation. Controlled organic cultivation guaranties high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well. It allows the cotton farmers a higher income. It also guaranties, that our towels are free from any chemical fertilizer and pesticides, which makes them skin compatible.
 

Design

Design is the key. In fact, only if something is loved, kept and used over the long-run can it really be called sustainable. fouta combines colorful Arabian culture, tradition and experience with simple and functional western design aesthetics to create a timeless, diverse, and long-lasting everyday product of high quality and style.
 

The Ganouchi family

Thanks to her Swiss and Tunisian heritage fouta founder Sarra Ganouchi effortlessly combines western values with Arabian tradition. fouta is being supported by her family both in Tunisia and in Switzerland. You can find many pictures of Sarra, her parents, grandparents, siblings, ants and uncles here on the fouta homepage.
 

fouta

fouta [fu:ta] is the Tunisian term for hammam towel. The towels originally came from India and spread in the mediterranean area in the course of the 18th century. From Algeria they finally found their way to Tunisia in the 19th century.
 

Hammam

Hammams are communal bath houses in the islamic world which originate from the Roman and Ottoman culture and are still widely popular in North Africa and the Middle East. Traditionally the Hammam represents a place where people of all social classes come together to cleanse themselves both physically and spiritually. It is the place of ritual purification according to Islam and, especially in the past, can be considered as one of the most important centers of social life.
 

Individuality

Rough edges have more character than perfection. That’s true for humans just like for the things we create. fouta cotton towels are weaved in small-scale Tunisian businesses and knotted in traditional home work. Small irregularities are characteristic for handwork, they make every towel unique and give it personality. However, we only tolerate minimal variations, towels with bigger irregularities get sorted out and transformed into our popular fouta Upcycling products.

A production related tolerance of five to ten percent in size is possible and is due to the hand-woving process. Minor deviations in the shades of color are possible.
 

Intercultural

Intercultural means, two cultures meet each other as equals, not looking for differences but starting at similarities.
We work with equal dedication in Tunisia and in Switzerland and want to share our success fairly with everybody involved. We try to meet difficulties placed in our way with creativity. For example the salaries in Tunisia are much lower than in Switzerland. To not create an imbalance in the local microeconomic we are forced to respect the customary salaries. We try to trick the system by supporting local social projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get news and behind the scene information about the individual projects.
 

Khomsa · the hand of Fatima

The hand of Fatima (Khomsa) is a palm-shaped cultural sign popular throughout the Middle East and Norh Africa. The image is recognized and used as a sign of protection and is believed to provide defense against the evil eye. The Khomsa is a symbol of strength and luck. The hand of Fatima is printed on our cotton packaging bags and hopefully also brings luck and protection to our customers!
 

The fouta brand

The fouta brand and its entire CI has been created in-house by label owner Sarra Ganouchi (Past. Present. Future.) and graphic designer Beni Sutter (GRAUWERT). The fouta brand quotes the traditional Arabic ornaments and tiles, as they are also widely used in Tunisia. Unlike the classic ornaments our fouta ornament is interwoven, inspired by the production process of our cotton towels. Just like traditional Arabic tile patterns the fouta Logo has a repeat and creates a surface-filling pattern.
 

Sustainability

In our daily work and in the design of our products, environmental awareness is our primary goal. For us sustainability means, to act with respect for people, culture and environment. Also, for example, regarding packaging design. We try to create sustainability by adding value and durability. Instead of discarding them, we and our customers like to use the printed cotton bags in many different ways, at home or on the road.
 

Partners

We exclusively produce in small-scale Tunisian businesses. We try to establish trusted long-term relationships with our suppliers to maintain needed workspaces in the local textile industry. We are also constantly looking for cooperation with social institutions in Switzerland and Tunisia. Contact us if you are interested in working together!
 

Quality control

Quality control is done in social workshops and institutions in Switzerland. The social workshop Drahtzug and the social company TRINAMO help long-term unemployed and people with mental disabilities to achieve long-term integration and social and professional reintegration. The Werkatelier der Sozialen Einrichtungen und Betriebe Zürich investigates the career opportunities of unemployed welfare recipients and people with disabilities and supports them on their way back into working life.

Every single towels is checked meticulously for mistakes in the fabric. If the quality is impeccable it earns our care-label and gets released for sale. If we find a mistake the towels get sorted out and turned into our fouta Upcycling products by the trainees at Ateliers LU Couture in Lucerne.
 

Tunisia

Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa and it’s population today is just under 10.8 Million. The capital Tunis is located on the country’s northeast coast. Geographically, Tunisia sits at the northern reaches of the Sahara desert and the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains. Tunisia was birthplace or part of numerous succeeding empires and therefore you can find many diverse religious and cultural influences. Up to today Tunisia is a country of long-lasting traditions and constant change.
 

Transparency

We believe in an open, honest and transparent communication. We gladly inform about our production ways and partners and let our customer be part of the work process. You want to know even more? Just ask us! We are happy about every dialogue with our partners and customers.
 

Upcycling

Upcycling means transforming an existing product into a new product with minimal energy input. Towels that do not pass our quality control get "upcycled", instead of discarding them we turn them into new products. This helps to minimize waste and preserve natural resources.
 

Value chain

For us fouta is much more than it’s products. fouta is a long-term social and cultural project and network that wants to promote a fair and sustainable consumption. We want to share our success and create a win-win situation for everybody involved in the production process - from the cotton farmers to the weavers to the workers in social institutions.

Care- and Washing Instructions

The thread is treated with a wax coating, so that it is not damaged during the weaving process. We recommend that you wash the towels prior to use.

The towels can be washed at 60° Celsius without problems when heavily stained. However, together with WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) and S.A.F.E. (Swiss Agency for Energy Efficiency), we recommend low washing temperatures of 20-30° C for mild to normal soiling. We also recommend avoiding fabric softeners and to line dry the towels. Compared to a wash cycle at 60° C, washing at low temperatures can save up to 70% of energy!

Pulled threads should not be pulled out, but simply trimmed neatly right away. In order to avoid pulled threads, fouta towels should never be washed with clothing that has hooks, velcro or zippers.

Our organic cotton was lightfast dyed as per the highest environmental standards. However, with natural fibers fading can occur, if the product is exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time.

Sources and more information from WWF (in German) about energy efficient washing: «Ratgeber Kaltwäsche» and «Hintergrundwissen Konsum, Mode und Kosmetik»

Orders from Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein

Currently the cotton towels are available through our online-shop. Additional sources are constantly being added.

 

Orders from abroad

Our products are available worldwide. At the moment our online-Shop is limited to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein - we are already working on a worldwide shop solution. If you want to order from within the European Union you can place your order directly with our trading partner acasa.berlin. Our partner Judith Schwyter ships our products from Germany, this will save you complications at customs and high shipping costs.

If you want to order from outside of Switzerland and the EU please place your order here. In this case, Swiss Post International rates are applicable for shipping charges. Please note that overseas shipping usually follows within two weeks after receivement of your payment via PayPal or bank transfer. The import clearance of your country will be billed to you and will be invoiced directly by the shipping company. 

 

Returns

Generally speaking, our products can be returned. The requirements for this are listed in our terms and conditions (part 8 returns and exchanges). For returns, please use our return form.

Should you have any unanswered questions, we will gladly provide you with more information in person.