In the last couple of years, the most talked about thing in fashion besides fast fashion is undeniably sustainability and slow fashion. What exactly is slow fashion? Well, slow fashion is simply the opposite of fast fashion, it is the opposite of the rapid designing, manufacturing, marketing and production of clothing in high volumes. Instead, slow fashion embraces an awareness and sustainable approach to fashion that considers the processes and resources to make clothing.
Two Nigerian fashion brands, Kkerelé and Shekudo are advocates for slow fashion and both create sustainable footwear that is visually appealing. The first brand is Kkerelé, founded four years. It is a design studio based in Lagos, Nigeria that is interested in the ways mindful crafts inform mindful living. This brand creates signature footwear pieces that embrace the versatility of the long standing history of leather production in Africa, through exploring simple yet bold forms of footwear. Kkerelé prides itself in defending the planet and its ecosystems against extractive practices by having values that align with the demands of slow fashion movements around the world and working towards translating the values into meaningful goals within their local context.
Kkerelé’s work is enabled by a local network of suppliers, makers and other practitioners. We see our place in this network as a node for diverse & meaningful creative activity and our hope is that our work continues to honor past and existing artisanal cultures while facilitating the growth of new ones.Kkerelé
Shekudo, which is derived from the founders’ names Shetu Bimpong and Akudo Iheakanwa, is a Nigerian sustainable label that is committed to using traditional weaving methods and solely a local production chain. The brand understands the value of responsible fashion. Shekudo was created with the sole purpose of creating beautiful clothes for women using bold, prints and contemporary silhouettes. Unlike, Kkerelé, Shekudo also makes accessories (handbags and jewellery) that reflect its target market, which is women that are bold, spirited and authentic.
Sustainability and supporting local industry is important to me. We chose to work with local raw materials that we would be able to access quickly so we started working with carpenters to create our wooden heels and weavers to create our base fabric, we also source our leather locally. If we relied on the raw items solely from the market / online you are then at the whim of big MOQ’s and the local market which can be volatile.
In addition, supporting local craftsmanship is something we need to continue to do. We have a lot to offer in Nigeria and I believe we can build upon what we have to create better products rather than always relying on imports.Akudo Iheakanwa