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



Manufacturing

July 15th, 2014

Support the LULEA campaign for Luxury Leather in Africa

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Written by: Jacqueline Shaw
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Lulea stands for LUxury LEather Africa and was founded in 2011 by premium leather accessories designer Edmond Chesneau. Chesneau began his career in Ireland as a designer under the tuition of a former master craftsman from internationally-renowned luxury leather goods house, Hermes. A trip to Kenya to teach a masterclass in leather craft techniques inspired Edmonds well honed entrepreneurial spirit. Mr. Chesneau’s 35 years’ experience coaching workforces in Ireland and Asia has helped him conceive a teaching model in the techniques and traditions of leather craftsmanship that he continues to pass to the Lulea trainee staff. He decided to create a sustainable leather production house based in Kenya that would produce luxury goods for the global market.

All Lulea bags are made in the Lulea Centre of Excellence workshop in Thika, Kenya. Thika is an industrial town located approximately 40 kms (25 mls) north east of Nairobi. With a team that is spread far and wide over both Kenya and Europe, those based in the workshop in Thika are made up of locally sourced skilled workers and Lulea trainees which they are presently sourcing from their partnership with the WCI Baraka Womens Centre in Nairobi. Each member of the production team is taught personally by Mr Chesneau. The aim of Lulea is to create a new business model that redresses imbalances in modern fashion production while offering fair wages and excellent working conditions to all Lulea team members.

Hoping to break the cycle of negative perception around “Made in Africa” labels Lulea works to produce sustainable luxury goods of a very high quality, where, as possible, all materials are sourced locally in Kenya. The company, under the leadership of Mr Chesneau has already done an amazing job with strong product but is now trying to achieve even more by growing the Lulea training and production Centre of Excellence and in doing so, transform lives in disadvantaged communities through training and employment. Their partnership with the Baraka Womens Centre in Nairobi means that they can offer some of the most vulnerable members of the community the opportunity to gain independence and a usable skill that they can pass on to the wider region.

master the craft of leather-work

Their work ethos “Do Well, Do Good and Feel Good about it.” is the benchmark they created as a standard for the production of their luxury leather goods under the “Made in Kenya” label. Lulea is an enterprise for social impact which specialises in training Kenyan workers to master the craft of leather-work in order to create sustainable luxury leather goods of outstanding quality for the global market.

“For close to 40 years I have been in the business of designing, producing and marketing leather accessories for luxury markets around the world.

Lulea gives me the opportunity to apply this life-long experience into a meaningful business model in an environment that is now thankfully ready for sustainable growth and development.

I have used the elephant in the Lulea logo as symbol of what I am striving to achieve. The elephant is not a predator or a scavenger they are social animals that pass knowledge through the accumulated experience of the matriarchs.

Today I can say that Lulea has possibly the best-equipped leather goods production facilities in East Africa.”

SO Lulea has set up an Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds in developing this production unit in Thika and really making a deeper impact in the Kenyan community by creating new employment and grow the Lulea workshop in Thika, Kenya. So by supporting and purchasing a Lulea handbag you are actively helping to create a new way of looking at the production of luxury fashion in developing regions, helping them to develop this cause as well as telling your friends about what they are achieving in becoming an ambassador for change and development.

Read more on their indiegogo campaign

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lulea-we-make-the-bags-you-make-the-difference#_=_

website

http://www.luxuryleatherafrica.com







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