Diesel and Edun Go MIA (Not ‘Missing in Action’ but Made In Africa)

by Nana Tamakloe
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In January 2012 founders of Diesel (Renzo Rosso)and founders of Edun (Ali Hewson and Bono) visited a number of countries across Africa, East and West to be more specific. This was to attend each others events. Edun, which held the CCI (Conservative Cotton Initiative in northern Uganda, and Diesel which held the ‘Only the Brave Foundation Project in Mali. Both founders on a great treck to ethical fashion, the part you don’t see on mainstream media. Both founders took time to visit each others events, and during this collision the birth of creating a joint brand was born.

The joint brand is called Diesel and Edun. What makes this project and collection great is that all production and manufacturing would be executed in Africa, using African cotton from Uganda.

It was announced that an African creative inspired 25-piece denim collection co-designed by Diesel+Edun would be launched in Spring 2013. Malian textile prints in lining and embroidery details characterizing Africa’s traditional Zulu patterns would be the main feature of the collection. Which will be supported by a special campaign. Probably one with a Bono message.

Ms. Hewson said as she and Bono chose to visit Africa to visit the cotton farming program in Northern Uganda and the Millennium Village in Mali, the visit has resulted in a collaboration for creating a finely designed line of 100 percent Made-in-Africa apparels, using Uganda’s finest cotton.

Mr. Rosso said Diesel’s proficiency and outreach will be mingled with Edun’s experience in African trade to make denims completely sourced and Made-in-Africa, which would be sold across the globe. It is for the first time that any company has chosen 100 percent sourcing and manufacturing in Africa.

Through their initiative, they would like to set example for their industry counterparts and people-at-large that it is actually possible to source, manufacture and have viable trade in Africa, he added.

Bono has also very vocal at the IHT Conference and said “There has to be a balance between virtue and desire” when talking about the exploitation of labour, so we can assume he is on the right side of supporting the growth of sustainable fashion in Africa. However, I leave with questions as I always do, why aren’t prominent African fashion creatives, icons or entrepreneurs involved whenever such support/charitable project are being executed in Africa? Such a project would have been immaculate had we known there were also African designers and creatives involved. Nevertheless, it’s a great initiative and FashionGHANA.com is in full support.

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