African Talent Leather Design Showcase 2023 Winner: Zeyin Mohammed

Showcase Winner: Zeyin Mohammed

African Talent Leather Design Showcase 2023 Winner: Zeyin Mohammed

Zeyin credits the start of their love of leather products to when he had to recommend leather bag design ideas to his mother for her small-scale leather business when he was twelve. During his studies Bahir Dar University, he developed a passion for and an excellent understanding of the basic concepts of leather production, tanning and traceability, sustainability, eco-friendly leather product designing.

Zeyin has more than three years experience at the Ethiopian Leather and Leather Products Industry Research and Development Centre as a Leather Good Technition and Assistant Researcher. Alongside this he is the winner of Creative Hub Ethiopia, the first national competition, for free incubation service under the creative leather products category.



Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:

For this project I wanted to create a multi-funcational product, having been inspired by various reading materials like ‘The Daily Routine of The Most Influential Man in History’ and ‘Multi-functional Products – A Way to Decrease the Products Environmental Impact’ articles.

A key quote of inspiration: Starting with a short presentation of the Eco-design principles versus the traditional design, defining the lifecycle of a product, the study shows that the impact of the multi-functional products on the environment is lower than in case of using single function products to fulfil the same functions: less resources, less waste and emissions during the production and packaging, transport and distribution stages and at the product end-of life, less waste to be processed. During the multi-functional product use stage, the energy used is comparable with the sum of energy resources needed to act the corresponding single function products. (Barsan, October 2018).

What do you think makes leather a great material to design with?

Tanned animal skin is used to make leather, a natural textile. Throughout the centuries, leather continues to be one of the most sought-after textile material because of its strength, resilience to moisture, insulating qualities, and opulent softness. Among the most versatile natural materials is leather, which comes in an extensive range of designs, quality levels, and hues.


What has been your experience in working with leather for this competition?

I discovered it to be a really amazing and adaptable material with a lot of possibilities. Unquestionably, working with leather was rewarding and hard. Due to its special qualities, leather has some drawbacks that mean you have to modify your strategy and point of view to fit the material. This experience challenged me to give up control and, in certain cases, let the information guide me intuitively, which was very beneficial and meaningful for me. In order to create without preconceptions and with an emphasis on the process rather than the destination, this creative technique required not knowing the output in advance. This strategy closely resembles the project I was inspired to do.


Click here to learn about the Africa Design Competition.

Click here to learn more about leather and sustainability.