6 black-owned fashion brands are killing the game of sustainable and ethical production • EBONY
One thing is certain, it is that the fashion revolution is underway. The world remains awake when it comes to fashion, especially the circumstances surrounding the production of the clothes we wear. Events like Fashion Revolution Week are celebrated to shed light on sustainable fashion and all that it encompasses. There is also Earth Day, which emphasizes the importance of using environmentally friendly practices in all ways. EBONY takes a look at some of the outstanding black-owned brands, translating ideas of sustainability and ethical fashion values into alluring, drool-worthy pieces.
Sustainable African-inspired and colorful clothing is the epitome of Studio 189. The brand produces clothing for women and men. With the belief that everything you do, from what you buy to how you dress, has an impact, the clothing produced by Studio 189 is primarily handcrafted.
The company uses goldsmithing and engraving for its accessories. The fabrics they use for their collections are made from tencel, pinatex pineapple leather, recycled and upcycled cotton in addition to organic cotton grown in Burkina Faso and Ghana. These are then transformed into their iconic colorful materials using natural dyes and hand painting and batiking techniques. You can dive into the world of Studio 189 here.
The genesis of Emmy Kasbit The brand stems from the desire to dress the unconventional man and woman who believe that dressing should be intentional.
The Nigeria-based ethical fashion brand uses a blend of local hand-woven fabrics, like Akwete, to project culture and heritage. Emmy Kasbit works in conjunction with local weavers who make Akwete fabrics from scratch using a loom. It is then fashioned into strong and colorful pieces, ready-to-wear with often unexpected silhouettes. Emmy Kasbit pieces mainly feature fringed hems, Akwete paneled jackets and suits. Check out the Emmy Kasbit pieces here.
Based in Bamako, Mali, Awa Meité is an Afrocentric fashion brand from Awa Meité; a multi-talented fashion and textile designer, filmmaker, stylist and painter.
The brand, built on the ideals of slow fashion and eco-consciousness, is known for its unique hand-recycled cotton fabrics that they fashion into detailed ready-to-wear pieces. They come in a range of standout silhouettes in their hand-woven fabrics, prints and colors that are a tribute to African culture. The Awa Meité label doesn’t just focus on sustainability, but works closely to empower women through well-paying and secure jobs. You can get some of their unique pieces here.
The ethic of the Larry Jay brand is ethical fashion. Originally started as an accessories line by Larry Jafaru Mohammed, the line has grown into a unisex Ghanaian fashion garment. The brand is strongly inspired by nature, the arts and various African cultures. Expect a mostly avant-garde, timeless, and traditionally modern styling aesthetic with this designer.
Larry Jay’s sustainability and commitment to ethical production is reflected in the brand’s use of thoughtful tie-dyeing techniques and rich, deep hues that are environmentally friendly. Both traditions pay homage to their various cultural inspirations. Shop for Larry Jay’s eco-friendly pieces here.
This brand focuses and interprets Nigerian craftsmanship to create an original perspective on luxury production. Kenneth Ize supports a community of weavers, but also artisans. The line is dedicated to Nigeria’s enduring heritage and local craftsmanship, where they merge into a new design aesthetic. The brand is convinced that the exploration and development of existing cultures opens the way to an exciting space for more inspiring traditions.
Maliko is a luxury accessories and footwear brand that is a visual representation of the vibrant and colorful city of Lagos. Ebuka, the Creative Director and Founder, begins most of the design process with a sketch that ultimately forms the blueprint for the many pieces produced by the brand.
Maliko works with in-house artisans who handcraft the shoes and accessories from scratch. The materials for the designs come from all over Nigeria with a frequent fusion of the creative reuse of materials such as buttons. What sets Maliko apart is how leather, wood and colorful recycled pieces are beautifully juxtaposed to create the perfect design. Discover Maliko Studios for yourself here.