26 Jul 2022
Amman, Jordan
Sustainable Textiles and Clothing

Around five years ago, Jordanian entrepreneur Basma Omar identified a hidden challenge holding back her homeland’s traditional artisans. While Jordan’s craftspeople enjoy no shortage of talent, Omar believed that they would benefit from far more efficient coordination across their various supply chains. In particular, closer collaboration would allow traditional artisans to create a circular economy for their products, reducing waste and minimizing adverse environmental impact. Yet the question remained: how would Omar fill this gap?

The answer has emerged in Grounded Stream, a growing startup that provides an Arabic-language virtual platform for collaboration between Jordanian artisans. The platform targets socially conscious craftspeople, offering them modern technology to support both coordination with other professionals and broadening their customer reach. “We seek to bring agency back to skilled, local communities in Jordan while supporting circular economy and regeneration,” Omar explained.

Grounded Stream’s business model — due to its innovative nature — requires some explanation. The company’s online platform serves as the basis for various product offerings, all of which help serve the various commercial needs of Jordan’s artisans. Specifically, Grounded Stream can provide support for optimizing business practices, research and development, knowledge transfer, and communications. 

The company operates on both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-customer) bases. In this way, Grounded Stream helps artisans to work more effectively with other businesses, while also reaching their end-customers more effectively.

With the latter suite of products, Grounded Stream aims to increase both business and income opportunities for Jordanian craftspeople. “[We are] delivering new services and expanding the local market for local, skilled communities, with a focus on women and youth,” said Omar. 

The environment also features prominently in Grounded Stream’s corporate aspirations. Enshrined in the company’s Code of Ethics is an adherence to “sustainable choices,” by which users should use natural resources and waste-as-resources “wherever possible.” 

Unsurprisingly, Omar nominates awareness-raising as Grounded Stream’s main challenge to date. “We are planning for the future organization of […] community-based production,” said Omar. “[For now], profit sharing is not yet 100% understood by our local communities.”

Nevertheless, Grounded Stream has already made impressive progress in demonstrating the benefits of innovative commercial strategies. Omar offers the encouraging example of one client who shifted their business’ focus towards essential consumer products, rather than purely high-end offerings.

“[The customer] voiced their pride in their sales in the bazaar, where they succeeded in selling 90 percent of their products on display,” Omar recalled.

Such success stories have helped to drive Grounded Stream forward as a business. In early 2022, the company entered the “minimum viable product” stage by launching the pilot online platform to clients. According to Omar, Grounded Stream’s main brand will enter the market by Fall / Winter 2022-23.

Of course, Omar could not have achieved so much without a talented team behind her. All have played their role — from business intelligence guru Mutaz Mango, to office manager Moh’d Deebeh, to communications officer Liza Mackenzie.

“Each one of us is a hero in their own right,” Omar commented.


Learn more about Grounded Stream through the website and Instagram.

Photos courtesy of Grounded Stream

David Wood is a freelance writer and researcher based in Beirut. He previously worked in Cairo.David Wood
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