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Saffron Brand Moonflowers Provides Opportunity For Afghan Women

by Rudy Sanchez on 07/12/2021 | 2 Minute Read

Saffron, a spice derived from the crocus flower, has been used by humans for millennia for intense color, flavor, fragrance, and therapeutic properties. It is the most expensive spice in the world, as it remains hand-picked, with every gram requiring hundreds of flowers.

The labor intensity of harvesting saffron combined with its continued global demand creates an opportunity for women farmers in countries like Afghanistan, as is the case for the brand Moonflowers, founded by Kabul-born Tahmina Ghaffer.

Editorial photograph

According to Moonflowers, the Afghan saffron industry is 80% female, so by purchasing and supporting the crop, the firm is providing economic opportunity to women in a society where income options are scarce. Additionally, Moonflowers will donate one percent of its profits to Skateistan, a non-profit youth skateboarding and education organization that provides services to kids in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

The branding and packaging for the Washington DC-based Moonflowers, made with assistance from studio Polonsky & Friends, draws heavily from Ghaffer’s Afghanistan and the saffron crocus and spice. Purple hues along with warm and bright oranges come directly drawn from the saffron flower, complemented by earthy tones found in mountainous Afghanistan.

Editorial photograph

The name Moonflower refers to the nighttime harvesting of saffron, and illustrations and imagery carry a touch of central-Asian inspiration, such as the label’s arch and the crescent moon over the crocus flower that comprises the logo. Smart, sharp typography lends Moonflower’s packaging an apothecary vibe, a nod to saffron’s use as herbal medicine.

Editorial photograph

Moonflower is available directly from Moonflowers.co and in select stores in the D.C. area.


Photos by Anne Kim.

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