Ethical Design colabs – Johari x Julia Smith

Posted on May 11, 2011


Designer Colab – Johari meets Julia Smith

Johari is one of those fashion labels in Africa that we have alot of support for. Johari means ‘something precious’ in Swahili and every item is handmade in Kenya by Social Enterprise Johari Designs.
Their philosophy their foundation is all about giving back as we feel sustainable/ethical fashion should be – heck – FASHION as an industry SHOULD have the underlying philosophy to give back. As an industry that takes so much from the earth and mother nature – its should give back to the earth or to communities in the best way possible. So with that said Johari is one whose story that we love and support. And now they are collaborating with UK designer Julia Smith.Johari Designs is a Social Enterprise and it comes under Johari Foundation based in Kenya. Johari Ltdis UK and this is where Johari production of hand-crafted and ethically made clothing and jewellery can be purchased through.

The Johari Apprenticeship Programme is for young adults to learn tailoring and jewellery-making and this provides opportunities from the skills learnt as it leads to on-going employment and economic development as a result. The support children and young adults gain from their programs help them towards a better future through providing education, vocational, social and basic needs.

They make a point of revealing that:

“100% of all profits go back into the Johari Foundation’s Miale Social Development Programmes. This helps to support the programmes and over time these programmes will become fully funded from Johari Designs profits and so self sustaining within the community”

Johari have produced a clothing range under a designer collaboration with Julia Smith. Julia Smith worked with Alberta Ferreti in Italy then went to Ghana where she worked with Topshop, and women’s co-operative Global Mamas as the result of joint winning a fashion competition ‘Design4Life Ghana’ with Choolips founder Annegret Affolderbach. They designed a range of women’s sundresses using the traditional African batik print technique. Their fabric and dress designs were printed and produced by the Global Mamas in Ghana and sold in Topshop for Spring/Summer 2007.

Julia’s commercial label ‘Julia Smith Made in Africa’. came off the back of this relationship with the batik printer in Ghana which she continued with after and formed a new co-operative with.

They describe the collection as one of “commercial dresses and soft separates with prints inspired by nature. Lightweight fabrics”, “delicate flower and fish prints combined with silhouettes inspired by the 50’s and 90’s” an overall “playful capsule collection”.

There are some nice pieces such as our favourite piece – the frill skirt.

Blue maybe?? though the pink version is kinda cute too 🙂

And some summer dresses for those who prefer the very popular one piece item.

all images copyright – Johari and Julia Smith

Your purchases of Johari/Johari-JuliaSmith product would highly be appreciated so the positive work by Johari Designs/Ltd/Foundation in Kenya can be continued. You can view the full collection at:

Posted in: Fashion