Successful Fashion is the Rare Combination of Instinct, Creative Talent and Business Acumen
INDIACSR News Network
Asil Attar is global fashion expert based in Dubai. She is CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion. Originally from the Middle East, born in Baghdad in 1969, an Iraqi with Persian and Indian roots, from a family of Engineers, Architects and Artists, Attar moved to London at a very young age. She returned to the Middle East for one year at the age of 12, where, under the guidance of her mother and the pressure of being educated in an all Arabic school, she learnt to speak fluent Arabic.
The success of Asil Attar has been so pronounced in the past ten years mainly due to the tireless work she has done on behalf of the brands she has represented. Attar has traveled expansively, insisting on controlling her buying and selection using her personal creative flair for design.
For INDIACSR interview series Harsha Mukherjee, Associate Editor, INDIACSR talked Asil Attar in Dubai. Attar shared her views on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of her organization and how embedding CSR is good for sustainable fashion practices within her organization.
“CSR Activities enhance the sustainability of our organization. Successful Fashion is the Rare Combination of Instinct, Creative Talent and Business Acumen”, she says.
Can you please outline the primary role of CSR in your organisation?
Corporate social responsibility is fundamental to the fabric of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion’s business and is a key component that drives our strategy; our partners, customers and employees recognize that our work within the community enables us to be a more transparent, ethical and engaged organization.
What are some of the major CSR initiatives that Majid Al Futtaim Fashion is currently involved in?
Our focus is on Environment, Community and Staff Welfare, to date we have launched the Go Green campaign to encourage all staff to be eco-friendly and to educate future generations about recycling and reusing existing resources.
As part of community we have an ongoing partnership with the Al Noor Centre for children with special needs, where we continue to drive initiatives to raise awareness and money for this self-funded center, we have also supported the START foundation in their START scholarship program that provides a 3-year Scholarship to support motivated and talented disadvantaged children to develop their skills and achieve higher qualifications in the arts.
Staff welfare is incredibly important to us; we have an initiative entitled Fashion gets fit, where we encourage a healthy lifestyle by launching ongoing fitness advice and activities throughout the business.
What have been the outcomes of these CSR Initiatives?
CSR has created a culture of emotionally engaged, highly motivated loyal employees that are focused on caring and giving back to the community who represent our values of Integrity, Trust and Respect. We have been fortunate to change people’s lives and truly make a difference.
Are there any planned CSR initiatives at Majid Al Futtaim that you would like to highlight? Please give details?
We are working on a wonderful project with the very talented UAE film producer Nayla Al Khaja for the Al Noor Centre for children with special needs, where we are collaborating to produce a short film focused on the wonderful children and their ambitions, this will be presented at the end of the year in a special evening where we will be raising money to sponsor a child.
We are also building a relationship with the incredible Senses residential and day care centre, a completely non profit organization and the first and only residential care facility for special needs in the UAE. Our primary objective is to raise awareness for this centre and raise much needed funds.
Please explain why it is important to integrate CSR into your organisation’s business strategy.
CSR activities enhance the sustainability of our organization by creating a culture that is focused on the community, staff welfare and the environment, tying our work more closely to the communities of the markets in which we do business – alleviating challenges, creating opportunities and sharing our resources with those who need them.
Has CSR improved the competitiveness of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion? Please explain.
CSR is the core underlying philosophy of our business and is a key factor in who we employee and who we partner with. Our reputation as being an emotionally connected employer who cares for their staff and give backs to the community has allowed us to recruit the best in class and achieve a retention loyalty rate of 98%.
This in turn reaches out to our partners who know that our approach to partnership is not based merely on financial gain but on transparent ethical initiatives that that involve our employees, customers and stakeholders creating a company culture that is socially responsible and committed, building a reputation for Majid Al Futtaim Fashion as the ideal partner of choice.