Blue Meets Blue: Fashion Meets Humanitarianism

How Blue Meets Blue Founder Turned Her Passion For Fashion Into Humanitarianism

I’m so honored to be the face of the Fall campaign for Blue Meets Blue, not only because I got to get dolled up in some gorgeous couture pieces and imagine I was (model) Gigi Hadid for a couple of days, but really because I am thrilled to align myself with such a forward-thinking brand, disrupting the way we consume fashion in the best way possible. Check out their recent feature in Time and InStyle!

Many people, myself included, want to do something to fix some the numerous problems in the world around us but often don’t even know where to begin. Which is why I’m so inspired by Shahd Asaly for founding Blue Meets Blue – a company tackling two major issues facing us today: the world refugee epidemic, and the fast-fashion problem. Asaly took her dream of aiding the refugee epidemic, combined it with her love of Fashion, and turned it into a reality. Here’s how she did it.

Shahd Asaly, founder of Blue Meets Blue, combined her love of fashion with her dream to aid the staggering refugee crisis, and turned it into a reality. Here’s how she did it.

With her Fashion and Psychology background, Asaly thought of an idea to create a clothing line that could employ refugees. After surveying a group, she found there were women who were highly skilled in beading, pattern making, and sewing.  Using the talents and skills they already possessed to create beautiful, ethically produced fashion, it was a mutually beneficial solution.

 Asaly then teamed up with experts in order to bring her dreams to life. Randa Kuziez, who has an extensive background in refugee work is currently the Strategy Consultant. Heading up Fashion Design is Rakan Shams El-Deen who has designed his own line of clothing.

Blue Meets Blue is a labor of love for Asaly, who says:

‘Blue Meets Blue is so much more than a fashion line for me. We focus on helping refugees with their resettlement process (by finding employment and a network of friends), we focus on slow fashion and try to raise awareness about slow fashion, we try to change misconceptions about refugees by spreading love through our fashion, and most importantly we see this as a form of art therapy: we love seeing the artisans open up -have deep conversations, and transform through their work. Seeing how it has changed their lives has been our biggest success.’

On top of all of those reasons to love Blue Meets Blue, the clothes are absolutely exquisite. Treat yourself to some guilt-free shopping for yourself or anyone on your holiday gift list!

Use my discount code ZahraXBMB for 15% off of your Blue Meets Blue order! 

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Some background: The world refugee crisis had reached a level of epic proportions in 2016 with 65 Million people displaced all over the world. These are innocent people forced to flee their homes, many of them women and children. Side note: It is sad that I have to clarify that these are innocent people, but after the Muslim Ban was enacted by our current administration, which would also keep out refugees from Muslim countries seeking asylum, I realized there are many misconceptions swirling around regarding who these people are and why they deserve our help. Also a driver behind the company, people are growing increasingly frustrated with fast fashion and its negative impact on the world. The factory collapse in Bangladesh was a pivotal moment, and consumers today are seeking out clothing produced sustainably and ethically.

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  • I was looking all over for a 2009 photo to do my 10 year thing - and I finally realized why I don’t have any! Some of you may already know this, but in the beginning of 2009 I got into a bad snowmobile accident where I had to be airlifted to a hospital and ended up in a coma for 3 days and ended up having a huge hematoma in my head (thankfully it healed on its own) and I had to get surgery on my broken collarbone m that is now metal plated! You may have noticed I have one bumpy collarbone - that’s the one haha. That near death experience set in motion so many things that would change my life. Most importantly I started living life for myself, I thought about all the things I would have regretted if I actually died that day. I (first broke up with but then) got married to my love @tom_sandberg, started practicing yoga regularly, tried a lot of new hobbies including horseback riding, I had a baby, started my blog, quit my job, had another baby, and now I’m at this really weird point of life - trying to decide what’s next. Now that Sophia’s getting older I have slightly more time to invest in my career, and I’m still trying to figure out where exactly I want to put my energy. 2019 is my year of exploration ~ anyone else at a similar turning point??
  • Throwback to Sophia’s first birthday! She turns two soon and I’m at a loss for ideas...(Bahamian beach party isn’t in the cards this year) I’m a theme kinda girl so please share your ideas! #birthdaygirl #tropicalparty #bahamas
  • Notes on being an American born of Pakistani immigrants...
Thanks to @urdumom for the q’s - check my highlights for expanded answers
1. Were you ever labeled an ABCD? What did you feel about that? 
Ha! Yes - I would still consider myself an 'ABCD' (American born confused Desi) although I think 'intersectional' is what the kids are calling it these days. As a kid it was difficult navigating both cultures, simultaneously being both and neither. I still struggle with it, to be honest, but I'm just now beginning to see that it is such a blessing to be sort of an outsider. It ultimately made me much more emotionally intelligent, and also broadened my perspective. 
2. Did you get to travel to Pakistan with your parents as a kid? How was the experience? 
Yes! We traveled often - almost every year - and I absolutely loved it. As a kid it was fun playing with the goats and chickens in my dads village, or shopping in the huge maze of bazaars in the city. When I was in tenth grade, my parents even sent me to Pakistan because they thought I was getting too 'wild'. Long story short, they are so advanced in education in Pakistan, we realized me going to school there meant I had to go back two grade levels, so they gave up on that plan and the whole trip became an extended vacation. I was SO resentful that I had to come back to America! I LOVED Pakistan so much. But I also knew my parents were now out of major punishment options - so I fulfilled their prophecy and became pretty wild 😜 
3. Did you face bullying at school for being different? 
sure! My first name Itrat was something kids really liked to tease me about. 'It's a rat' was a fan favorite. Kids would laugh at me and say that my dad worked at the gas station while imitating an Indian accent like Apu from The Simpsons, and they would ask me why I'm not wearing a red dot. I remember once arguing with a girl who then called me a rag head, and I thought she meant my hair was raggedy, but my older brother filled me in that she was referencing our Muslim heritage. 
4. How did your parents keep your Pakistani roots alive at home? 
My parents are both from Pakistan, so we had the food, language, music, books
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  • Northern Cali folks, my sister Rania will be teaching a Spring course called Global Islam: Culture and Civilization - at American River College in (my hometown) Sacramento! The course is introductory but covers a wide breadth of topics including the origins of Islam, the Prophetic traditions, Arts and Literature, and modern concepts as well. There are still a couple of open spots so I wanted to spread the word in case anyone was interested! Swipe left for even more detail. Save this post, share it, spread the word! (Also side note: this is a throwback way back from Sophia’s baby shower - the most recent pic we have together because I was not about to post a flyer on the feed 💁🏾‍♀️)
  • All I need in this life of sin...p.s. a bunch of old guys kept asking us where we are ‘from’ (because obvs we couldn’t be from here 🙃) - and they couldn’t believe it was Pakistan either - im going to just say outer space next time...👽 #girlfriends #ladiesnight #gno
  • SO glad I forced myself to go out tonight with my girls, sometimes we forget how much we love each other’s company 💕 #gno #chicago #girls
  • She won’t even take a bite out of something she doesn’t like - I learn lessons from this QUEEN every damn day! 🙏🏾💕 👑 👧🏻
  • When you always think the song is about you 🎶 (Queen + Adam Lambert tour here we come!)
Also going to do more stand up comedy this year because, well - being a wife and mom - no one listens to me any more and I need my validation so...yeah
Also: wearing this coat all winter long because I’m a proud outfit repeater 👊🏽 (Also because I’m an old coat kind of girl  don’t @ me) ~
  • 1) hanging with my sister Nusrat who has been here visiting since New Year’s Eve - we are 13 months apart so basically we’re twins 👯 except when it comes to our personalities we are polar opposites ☯️ she has always been the one person who constantly humbled me  whenever I thought I was too cool (which was often) she would put me in my place (whether I liked it or not) and now as an adult I really appreciate that 
2) me doing Nusrat’s makeup as I’ve always been the resident makeup/hair/stylist in the family
 3) Sophia’s lewk 😍 
2019 is starting off pretty great I’d say!

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