There is a revolution in the fashion industry to promote sustainable fashion. And it seems African designers are the one driving seat in this regard. Many African-based brands now make their designs from organic and harmless materials locally sourced. And by encouraging the use of these recyclable and eco-friendly fabrics and textiles, our environment will become healthier and habitable.
It’s a good thing to see the fashion industry encouraging the use of eco-friendly materials. Now, let’s take a look at some of the designers that are pushing this campaign forward. It’s my assignment and yours to spread words and support them, even if we are not in the fashion industry.
Fundudzi is a promising clothing brand owned by Craig Jacobs; a journalist turned designer. The company uses locally sourced materials like soy, cashmere, bamboo, corn, and a host of other local products from rural communities to create designs that are out of this world. Plus, they regularly source organic cotton directly from their backyard, Lesotho.
We say backward because Fundudzi is a South African-based company. It’s set up to meet the needs of those who love eco-friendly clothing, and their brands are produced entirely from organic fabrics. Fundudzi’s passion for sustainability also knows no bounds. That’s why the clothing brand occasionally collaborates with local artisans and crafters.
In an interview, when asked what motivated him to establish Fundudzi, Craig Jacobs referred to an encounter he once had with Jodie Kidd, a British ubermodel. As a journalist, he was contracted to co-present alongside Jodie for an international lifestyle program known as Fashion Avenue. However, Jodie’s admiration for the Xhosa skirt with a single cowrie shell and print of a calabash during that encounter was one of the things that made him more passionate about establishing an eco-friendly fashion design business.
- MIMA – TE
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
If you have used dresses that you plan to dispose of, then why don’t you make plans to upcycle them? Fashion brands like MIMA – TE is there to help out. MIMA – TE is a Mozambique-based clothing brand, and it’s the first well-established fashion house that upcycles clothing in the region. To MIMA, upcycling is all about creativity and adding value. And even though the brand does not build clothes from scratch, they are doing something salutary by helping to solve landfill issues.
Fast fashion has created diverse issues for our environment, and one of them is landfill. But MIMA – TE, a brand established by two of Mozambique’s most exceptional fashion entrepreneurs, Nelly and Nela Guambe is helping to address this problem through sustainable fashion. But what you see today as an established brand started many years ago. Both sisters got their inspiration from their childhood days.
According to an interview with Nela and Nelly, their love for fashion started in early childhood. During festive periods and special occasions like birthday parties, their mother usually takes them to the open markets where used clothing from the US and Europe were sold at cheaper rates. These were the kind of clothes their parents could afford at that time. And with little alterations from tailors in the market, they were able to transform those second-hand dresses into new fashion. Today, the two sisters are back in Mozambique after completing their education in South Africa through a scholarship program. They are now back moving around open markets in search of second-hand wears they can redesign and upcycle.
- Lisa Folawiyo
This brand has been successful for many reasons. It is a fashion brand owned by a trained lawyer, someone who is passionate about promoting eco-friendly African clothing to the world. It is a fashion brand owned by Lisa Folawiyo, a creative and highly committed designer. Lisa Folawiyo credited as the first African fashion designers to showcase the African Ankara prints mainstream has also attracted international recognition for her creativity. She was even selected by the famous Ethical Fashion Initiative to render support in strengthening the organization’s ethical ethos.
Lisa Folawiyo’s brand uses local materials from the now famous West African fabrics and textiles. And every piece of fashion made by Lisa from these local materials is world class. Her brand name, Jewel by Lisa (JBL), is also making waves across the fashion industry both in Nigeria and abroad.
The Lisa Folawiyo fashion brand, based in Nigeria, is solely funded by Lisa. In an interview, Lisa stated how she left her career as a lawyer, a job she didn’t like, to become a fashion designer. She started with the little capital she had and has grown the company into one of the biggest in the fashion industry across Africa. And like having satisfaction in finding the right college paper for sale, Lisa’s promotion of sustainable fashion is gaining grounds in the fashion industry across Africa and the world at large.
It is interesting to see fashion designers make such big moves to make planet earth habitable. And it’s exciting to see African designers in the race as well. It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure the environment is habitable. Whether you are in Europe or Africa, it’s necessary to support and promote the use of eco-friendly materials wherever you are. You can encourage the use of eco-friendly materials for creating dresses or upcycle second-hand clothes like some of the fashion brands are doing.