Discover our services
and our expertise.
Cultural engineering is the articulation of all human, cultural, artisanal and heritage aspects related to the study and realization of a social project.
It is our ability to respond to some complex issues of our societies thanks to an in-depth knowledge of cultural diversities and human heritages.
With more than 8 years of collaboration with the luxury market, FORWEAVERS first developed its extensive knowledge in praxeology (the symbolism that humans give to what they manufacture), textiles and then cosmetics. We capitalized on the experience of our founder, Ali Rakib, researcher in anthropology (field studies, meeting with indigenous communities, artisans around the world, etc.) to develop an expertise in cultural and social anthropology we can apply to all sectors.
It makes observation, understanding et explanation of social gears of a company possible while keeping a critical eye which Is essential to the sustainable management of the company.
Find the universe of Forweavers
explained in video by its founder
Find the universe of Forweavers
explained in video by its founder
Our method relies on cultural and social anthropology. This holistic approach is based on:
- The field study, through participatory observation and investigation: it allows us to observe in their reality the impacts on local communities, their ecosystem and to understand the life of the communities, their history and their culture as well as the object produced.
- Comparative studies, the crossing of points of view, through anthropology, between societies, their cultures, their uses.
This specifically means advising brands to give them means to interact directly with their natural and human environment by:
- Identifying beliefs and dogmas.
- Re-questioning the information received.
- Identifying cognitive biases that may be the cause of analytical errors.
For consulting assignments on larger and more existential subjects, such as deep reflections on a group’s purpose, we gather around us sociologists, ethnologists, philosophers, such as the company ERANOS.
To build a contributory and virtuous economy, it is important to understand and respect the diversity of cultures and not just tolerate it.
01 — Consulting in ethical supply chain strategy
Specialized in the anthropology of actors in production and supply chains, we support companies in the development of fair and balanced relationships with their stakeholders. Our expertise helps them regain control of the cultural and social impacts on their ecosystems, from small communities to the end consumer, and thus increase their performance in terms of responsible management of supply chains, the main CSR’s blind spot.
- Social audit with a field approach, measurement of their impact and alert companies on the needed integration of respect for Human Rights in their sustainable development approach (social equality, gender equity)
- Digital traceability solution
- Identify, enhance and develop their intangible cultural heritages and safeguard those who may be threatened by their activities.
- Responsible sourcing solutions (organic materials and ingredients): Discover our treasures from around the world →
FORWEAVERS collaborate closely with their clients, to help them tackle challenges and to align their goals with the 2030-SDG’s. We support them in understanding their internal and external relations with all stakeholders and raise awareness for social and cultural dimensions of their activities. Our approach in cultural and social anthropology allows the integration of social and environmental criteria in purchasing decisions, in the management of supply chains to guarantee their longevity.
SOCIAL AUDIT AND TRACEABILITY
To prevent social, environmental and governance risks, we raise awareness about the need to put Human Rights back at the center of companies and their business partners’ decisions (application of the law of duty of vigilance of March 27, 2017 *). We identify and measure the social-cultural impacts of their chains of value (suppliers, business partners, etc.), to suggest areas to improve. Our analysis method is based on a “classic” social audit combined with a field approach, which will reveal weak signals at the heart of supply chains, related to working conditions, safety, health, women position…
We check our sources, working conditions directly or with the help of our partners in NGOs. Finally, to tackle the challenges of traceability and ensure your transparency, we offer a range of solutions, such as that of our partner VIJI →.
INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE
A company’s intangible cultural heritage, know-how, traditions and rituals, social practices, and relational networks, are the key to its performance. We identify, promote, and develop them in order to guarantee companies their competitive advantage. Humanity’s know-how restores human actions’ value that neither machines nor artificial intelligence can imitate and thus guarantee the quality of creations. It is therefore important to safeguard those who may be threatened by our activities.
ETHICAL AND RESPONSIBLE SOURCING
By carrying out permanent research in France and abroad and exploring wild worlds, we offer solutions to your responsible sourcing needs, particularly when searching for sustainable alternatives to your usual materials. We rely on an international network of partners, ranging from local artisans to customs specialists, NGOs, and institutions such as UNESCO or IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Discover our treasures from around the world!
* Law No. 2017-399 of March 27, 2017 aims to prevent serious violations of human rights, of fundamental freedoms, of personal health and safety and of the environment caused by parent companies and contracting companies or by their subsidiaries.
02 — Research lab in creative inspiration
We support trend offices or creation studios in the smooth running of their creation projects:
- Cultural inspirations: nourish your creative inspirations by studying other societies or other eras, avoiding accusations of cultural appropriation or cultural missteps.
- Textile innovation: research, co-design and production of rare and innovative fabrics from exceptional know-how from around the world.
We allow companies to boost their creativity by tapping into the creative potential of different cultures of humanity while avoiding accusations of cultural appropriation or cultural missteps.
Biopiracy and cultural appropriation are not just the malicious act of conscious looters; it often comes from companies and creative studios with little knowledge of cultural and anthropological issues.
RESEARCH AND EDITION OF RARE AND EXCEPTIONAL TEXTILES
Thanks to a network of suppliers, artisans from around the world, museums and ongoing artistic and technical research in history and philology, we can present exceptional, rare or forgotten textile know-how.
OUR INSPIRATION HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL SOURCES
FORWEAVERS finds its inspiration in the collections of many cultural institutions.
Lyon Tissue Museum, Maison des Canuts, MAD Paris, Galliera Museum, Forney Library, Cluny Museum, Louvre Museum, MuCEM, Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac Museum, Guimet Museum, Avallon Costume Museum…
03 — Learning Expedition and Conferences
- We offer Learning expeditions in France (museums, workshops, etc.) and internationally for brands (Comex, teams, etc.) who wish to meet other cultures or inspiring universes.
- Conferences to executive comities on cultural anthropology themes breakdown their barriers of certainties and question their current business models to take part in the establishment of new, more virtuous paradigms.
“Because it is sometimes good to sit down and listen to the fruit of a reflection from outside your organization, our predecessors would have been gathered around the fire; it is a key element in our intellectual development. » Ali Rakib
We rely on transmitting knowledge and sharing experiences that will allow you to explore new ways of thinking and acting with an objective and critical eye.
LEARNING EXPEDITION ORGANIZATION
Created as “journeys of discovery”, they are aimed at companies keen to learn and train their teams through field experience, through astonishment. They allow you to meet other cultures, inspiring universes or ways of doing, thinking, designing, working. These are powerful tools for innovation that allow to shift the lines of current certainties in the world.
CONFERENCES TO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES
Those conferences explore themes of cultural anthropology: awareness on the concepts of acculturation and cultural appropriation, semiology, praxeology and the challenges of the Nagoya Protocol, governs access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their usage.
Social audit of a supplier of rare ingredients in the Amazon
The challenge of this mission was to identify the impacts (positive or negative) of our client’s commercial relationship with one of its suppliers. We first conducted the social audit of this production site, reporting exemplary well-being at work among their farmers. In addition, we proposed a field study of a few days with the community to observe the context from inside and better measure and anticipate the impacts on the intangible heritage of these villagers.
We have been able to detect the birth of dissensions between the suppliers of this brand and the neighbouring villages. The explicit underlying reason for his dissent was local inflation due to their difference in income. Beyond that, an indigenous tribe living nomadic in the forest went to the monthly events of the village (markets, sacred days) to exchange wild seeds for proteins (dried meats, fish,…).
Since this tribe does not use money and is used to a certain “rate” of bartering, it would soon have seemed unfair to them to suddenly have to increase the quantity of its products to be exchanged. We therefore compiled a financial inflation risk assessment report and advised our client to pay its suppliers more adequately to limit societal risks of conflicts between different populations.
Resolution of a supply blockage at source
In West Africa, a client was considering giving up its partnership with one of his ingredient suppliers used as a base for a cosmetic cream, as it hasn’t been delivered for more than 4 years of collaboration. Anxious to understand the causes of the failure of this collaboration, we were asked for this mission which required our anthropological approach.
Before traveling to this country, we analysed the organization chart of this production workshop. Out of about 30 people, there were no women: only men had been recruited based on their educational levels. However, this country is anthropologically anchored in a matriarchal societal past, reflected in the human and entrepreneurial environment of the country. So, something illogical was happening.
We submitted this preliminary report to the client and undertook there, accompanied by our client, to identify and then recruit women with field experiences in the agricultural sector and without diplomas. Two months later the ingredient started to arrive, and the collaboration was able to continue.
Collection creation with transparent sourcing
Bonne Gueule, 2020
FORWEAVERS advised the Bonne gueule brand in its responsible sourcing approach for raw materials for the creation of a limited edition of camel wool scarves.
Discover our collaboration through the report of our trip to Nepal:
In search of authentic craftsmanship in Nepal →
Strategic reflection on the meaning of the term “Nature”
Consulting mission in textile anthropology
Nelly Rodi, 2021
FORWEAVERS contributed to the Intelligence Color Spring – Summer 2023 edition, the sociological and creative reference which decodes new aesthetics in a transversal way. 50 colours available on yarns and fabrics, dozens of harmonies putting colour into perspective for an analysis of the times. Our role has been to decipher the context and nurture creative inspirations through ethical and responsible sourcing, avoiding any cultural appropriation.
“It became obvious to us that after a period of isolation, the materials to be suggested will be community-based; we would need to find a strong symbol of open-mindedness.” – Ali Rakib
We have therefore selected for Nelly Rodi some rare and unique materials which bear witness to exceptional know-how and through their production support the safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. FORWEAVERS cultivates “a great sense of tradition and heritage, looking to the future”
LVMH & Central Saint Martins School, 2018 - 2021