Culture Clutch

Mary E. Robbins is known for her T-shirts — bold, graphic designs that promote understanding of Muslim cutlure. We've wanted to write about them from some time — since we discovered her on the Etsy Maine Team. It's a great story, really. Mary, a South Portland girl, went to Morocco on exchange, met her husband, fell in love, got hitched, returned to Maine and set out to break all sorts of stereotypes. The T-shirts, with their Arabic script, do their part by teaching the language, one word at a time.

But for some reason, we keep coming back to her handbags. Made of recycled fabric and named for a member of Mary's Moroccan family, these simple, elegant clutches have won us over.

Both are sold under the label Moth Designs, which you can find on Etsy and at various fairs and festivals statewide. As Mary explains on her site, the moth is a good omen in Morocco. And though the handbags aren't quite as obvious in their celebration of the Arabic-speaking world, it doesn't matter — the language of purses and fashion is universal.

To learn more about Mary E. Robbins' work, visit her blog by clicking here.


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