Afia is a sustainable apparel line consisting of women’s clothing in its own individual style. The focus behind it is about valuing craft and the production process is a very important part of the business for owner Meghan Sebold. Whereas they make their patterns with individual pattern cutters in Chicago, New York’s garment district, as well as Ghana, West Africa; their textiles are sourced from small vendors in Ghana. Their bulk purchase of fabric directly and immediately impacts them.
Meghan had visited and studied in Ghana in 2006 and caught up with the vibrancy and beauty of the textiles, as well as the talent and ambitions of the local tailors and textiles vendors even with business growth limitations. It was this idea and complexities of working in developing economies which inspired this trip and her further research study of the local textile industry, and her desire to develop a business model that would go on to create a larger consumer market for Ghanaian textile vendors and seamstresses.
Meghan through Afia works with the Dzidefo Women’s Cooperative. The Dzidefo Women’s Cooperative is a small textile cooperative of five young women from the village of Kpando, in the Volta Region of Ghana who make locally designed and printed toddler clothing, home accessories (such as laundry bags and cushion covers), and school uniforms for children in need from pure Ghanaian cotton.The prints use authentic traditional Ghanaian patterns and hand-dyed woodblock prints.
(image above courtesy of http://www.villagevolunteers.org/country-ghana/dzidefo/home.php)
In our eyes the latest collection is the best one by Afia showing beautiful colours, easy to wear silhouettes that are still very much on trend. There is an air of relaxation, understated but impactful. With an African connection, great use of prints, fairtrade practices this puts Afia on the block. No need to shout the brand is effective enough on its own merit. Meghan debuted her new Summer 2011 collection for Afia at Guilded’s “Beautiful Future” Sustainable Fashion Pop-Up in NYC on May 5th. Meghan will be involved in the Guilded source in Ghana event on Tuesday 14th June. If you want to partake in this New York event check out the link for more info.
All images used from the SS11 as shown are modeled but beautiful model Fardosa Mohamed.
Copyright goes to Afia and Meghan Sebold