About Us

Welana is a social for-profit company that imports handmade, high quality textiles from extraordinary weavers in Ethiopia.

Our products are created with traditional weaving techniques and include patterns typical to Ethiopian culture. The weavers produce the fabrics locally and under fair conditions. The materials consist of pure Ethiopian cotton or a cotton-Eri-silk-mix.

At Welana we are striving for a holistic business approach. Together with our Ethiopian partners we are empowering local communities through sustainable income development. Adopting a full cycle model, we also ensure a responsible and ethical production process and support an environmentally friendly approach to reuse and recycle textiles.

Anna Papadopoulos and Welella Negussie are the founders and CEOs of Welana

The idea of setting up Welana emerged in 2015. Welella and Anna, two close childhood friends, have been trying to come up with innovative solutions and ideas for the lack of (employment) opportunities for the local population in Ethiopia. They wanted this solution to be long-lasting and sustainable- and at best be a solution that can transform not only the lives of single Ethiopians but entire communities. Ethiopia’s beauty is undeniable, and the country has gained a spot on the map for its rich history, multi-faceted traditions and great food. Ethiopia is also home to an incredible weaving culture,which produces beautiful cotton and silk textiles. The Welana founders want to connect and transport these qualities to Europe and beyond by importing handmade textiles which are produced locally, under fair conditions and with great appreciation of the weavers and local producers.

Anna a Berlin native with Greek roots has always been interested in the intersection of business and social change. She gained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in Berlin and her Master of Social Science in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Copenhagen Business School. Since 2013 she has been working at Mandalah, a consultancy that focuses on human-centric and purpose-driven products, services, strategies and organisational designs that build bridges between purpose and profit.
Contact Anna Papadopoulos at anna@welana.com.

Welella is Berlin-born and raised with Ethiopian roots. She studied Arts and Culture in Maastricht and gained her Master of Science in Development Studies in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Interested in humanitarian issues and international development, she has been working in this field for the past few of years, lastly for the United Nations in Addis Ababa.
Contact Welella Negussie at welella@welana.com.

Special Thanks to

Bosena Bekele-Negussie, Fekadu Bekele-Negussie, Julia Bobenko, Simon Bonnen, Nebiat Bezabeh, Jeanine Cooper, Dawit Dejene, Chukwudozie Ezigbalike, Henry Franz, Hewan Goethals, Benjamin Tedla Hecker, Ben Hoffmann, Dietrich Kanz, Meseret Walelgne Kanz, Florian Krüger, Katinka Lotz, Kathy Marshall, Sophie Mosko, Ryane Murnane, Lessano Negussie, Aris Papadopoulos, Niki Papadopoulos, Susanne Schneider-Papadopoulos, Patricia Schichl, Pam Simpson, Mister Tesch, Weinshet Walelgne, Jonah Wedenkind

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