" What is the point in creating more than we can use, if it causes us to live less of a life?" Nkwo
THE PHILOSOPHY OF LESS
NKWO is an artisanal brand at the forefront of the sustainable fashion movement in Nigeria with the conservation of natural resources and the environment as the label's core values.
Conscious of the impact running a fashion label has on the environment the brand's main focus is textile waste reduction, creating artisanal and limited edition pieces from up-cycled denim, made in Nigeria cotton, end-of-line fabrics and cutting table waste. This focus on waste reduction has also led to the invention of a 'new African fabric' called DAKALA CLOTH.
The clothes are free spirited and nomadic, inspired by the lives of the wandering people of the African deserts and great plains. Through exploration and experimentation with innovative techniques, the label aims to harness the capabilities of technology (both old and new) as a sustainable form of preserving traditional craft skills. Modern interpretations of early methods of hand crafting like weaving, beading, hand dyeing and embroidery give new new life to fabrics by transforming their conventional uses and making the transition from tradition to modernity.
Working closely with artisans and local makers the label aims to create meaningful change on the continent by involving the many parts of the expanding fashion eco-system in a new way of working that is more mindful as it celebrates and preserves the art of creation.
NKWO is devoted to promoting a positive image of Africa and the unique interpretations of the rich history, culture and traditions have seen Nkwo Onwuka emerge as one of Africa's leading fashion designers as she champions the African renaissance.
Africa has a long tradition of cloth weaving, however, it is one of our traditional handicrafts that is fading away as some of the processes are time consuming and the demand for cheaper mass produced textiles is very high. This has led to a booming fashion industry that in turn produces copious amounts of watse. It also led NKWO to to start up a sustainability project where the main focus is textile waste reduction through innovative cutting techniques, recycling and fabric manipulation.
During an experimental session in the NKWO studios, a modern 'strip weaving' technique emerged. From off cuts, Nkwo Onwuka had produced a new fabric that looked like handloom woven cloth, it had a distinctively African feel to it and was named DAKALA CLOTH because it had all begun with left over pieces of denim and as a nod to the sound of Africa's long tradition of cloth weaving … Sakala-si sakala-sa Sakala-si sakala-sa ...
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