Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.



Manufacturing

February 26th, 2012

Fairtrade Fortnight, ASOS, Whistles and Central Saint Martins and MADE – building African connections

Made is a fashion accessories brand that we love. Not just because they create beautiful, hand-made product in their African workshop, but also because Made teaches new skills and provides sustainable opportunities for all our Kenyan employees. made is also a brand that features in our book Fashion Africa.

Made was started in 2005 with 5 employees and now employs over 100 full time employees in their very own Made workshop, located in Nairobi, Kenya, that is continually expanding to accommodate their growing team.

Made produces jewellery, leather goods & other Africa inspired accessories and is committed to supporting & promoting trade in Africa and to follow ethical principles. So we are excited about their project in alignment with Fairtrade Fortnight. To celebrate and support Fairtrade Fortnight (27th February – 11th March 2012), Made are delighted to have teamed up with Whistles & ASOS. Each bracelet comes in its own beautiful jewellery pouch made from traditional African material called ‘Kanga’ and Made are thrilled to have teamed up with Kenyan co-operative SOKO to produce these fair-trade bags. Worn on it’s own or as a bundle, this is the effortlessly cool way to support fair-trade.

made bracelets
Made Friendships Bracelets

Made ff bracelet

 

Fairtrade Fortnight is a 2 week, yearly initiative by Fairtrade Foundation and they describe Fairtrade as being  about:

…better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

source: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk

Made provides all Kenyan employees with a housing & travel allowance, a fair wage, an equal opportunities work environment, an employment contract & a hot meal at the workshop every day. In addition, all employees are set up with their own bank account – for most of our workers this is the first time they have been allowed to open an account thanks to the guarantee provided by Made.

Made logo

Made have an impressive array of clients which include Whistles, Louis Vuitton, Matches, Stefanel, Mimco, Jigsaw, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop, Asos, John Lewis, The Outnet, Accessories Direct, Erickson Beamon & various independent boutiques; Made also collaborates with an array of luxury brands, high-street favourites, renowned designers and top celebrities to help lift the profile of their work and the work in Africa.Such Guest Designers & Celebrities include Laura Bailey, Livia Firth, Alexa Chung, Peaches Geldoff, Kate Moss for Topshop, Pippa Small, Hattie Rickards, Natalie Dissel, Bex Rox, Vicki Sarge, Brian Crumley

As well as this exciting news for Fairtrade Fortnight, Made also have teamed up with Central St. Martin’s to offer one 2nd year jewellery student the chance to have their design handmade in their workshop in Kenya. Made have worked closely with Central St.Martin’s senior Lecturer Sian Evans to create a brief that focuses on inspiration from Africa and sustainability. The winning design will be interpreted by the Made workshop using the materials and skills intrinsic to the Made brand. The winning design will be showcased in the 2nd Year Fashion Show alongside all the designs for this project made by the winner’s fellow students. The winner was chosen by their panel of renowned fashion experts.

Made and Central St.Martin’s are honoured to have such an renowned judging panel who are not only fashion industry experts but are all continued supporters of fairtrade and ethical practises. Under Caren Downie’s direction ASOS Africa was launched in 2009 showcasing stunning fashion brands and manufacturers from across Africa. Catherine Neito continues to support ethical fashion brands on Grazia’s fashion pages and later this year Zara Martin will launch an accessories collection with Made exclusively at ASOS. (article to follow)

The judges made their decision on 27th January 2012 and the Central St.Martin’s 2nd Year Final Fashion Show will be on 16th March 2012. Though their was strong competition the winner, Sarah Narici’s design caught the eye of all three judges due to her beautiful drawings and unusual design. The necklace is focused around the 2012 apocalyptic premonitions and Sarah’s creation explores the idea of new life and growth after obliteration. From the collar of bells around the neck, which represent new bulbs, flower petals cascade down the chest symbolising new life, rich with colour.

The judge’s decision was not made easy due to the extremely high level of talent that was evident throughout. Strong contenders for the winning included Beatrice Bongiasca whose stunning necklace (left), was perceived to be the design with the most commercial potential. Naomi Brown’s beautiful statement cuff’s (centre) captured the judge’s imaginations with the use of recycled materials such as plastic bags woven amongst the lattice metal and Maja Rohi’s design using frayed rope was described as “exquisite.”

For Made, this project is about helping to nurture and support emerging design talent and to offer a no strings attached platform for young designers to showcase their work and educate a new generation of designers about producing ethically. In addition Made are very proud to have a long standing history with Central St.Martin’s graduates including Hattie Rickards who will launch her second collection with them in April and later this year they are delighted to be launching an exclusive collection with Daisy Knights.

You can see Made featured in the book Fashion Africa with astonishingly beautiful illustrations – for more information on how to purchase it see the link here

Made sells it’s own Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter collections online at www.made.uk.com

For more info on Made please contact Flo Hill at Made on 0207 258 9690 or flo@made.uk.com

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