We recently posted about sustainable apparel line Afia which values craft and the production process owned by Meghan Sebold. They make their patterns in Chicago, New York’s garment district, as well as Ghana, West Africa; their textiles are sourced from small vendors in Ghana. Their bulk purchase of fabric directly and immediately impacts them. They have just now been awarded the Ethical Fashion Forum New York 2011 Innovation Award.
“Awards were presented to the four applicants whose innovative collections demonstrated that fashion forward design and ethical business practice are not mutually exclusive”
Say the Ethical Fashion Forum Source magazine. This was the first year of INNOVATION USA and the judges for 2011 included Kerry Bannigan, Nolcha Co-founder and CEO, Adriana Herrera, founder of Fashioning Change, Marina Lekaritis, Marketing Manager for Harrods Personal Shopping Experience, Jamila Payne, Director of the National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers, Debora Pollakus, CEO and President of Bel Esprit and Kelly Ramirez, the Executive Director of Social Venture Partners Rhode Island(SVPRI).
The business of Afia could be what attracted the judges. Meghan had visited and studied in Ghana in 2006 and caught up with the vibrancy and beauty of the textiles, the talent and ambitions of the local tailors and textiles vendors. It was this idea and complexities of working in developing economies which inspired this trip and her further research study of the local textile industry, and her desire to develop a business model that would go on to create a larger consumer market for Ghanaian textile vendors and seamstresses.
Meghan through Afia works with the Dzidefo Women’s Cooperative. The Dzidefo Women’s Cooperative is a small textile cooperative of five young women from the village of Kpando, in the Volta Region of Ghana who make locally designed and printed toddler clothing, home accessories (such as laundry bags and cushion covers), and school uniforms for children in need from pure Ghanaian cotton.The prints use authentic traditional Ghanaian patterns and hand-dyed woodblock prints.
Afia as well as the other winners Carrie Parry and Soham Dave will all be showcased at Nolcha Fashion Week: New York, which runs from September 8th – 14th 2011.
Join us in congratulating them on this win!
All images used from the SS11 as shown are modeled but beautiful model Fardosa Mohamed.
Copyright goes to Afia and Meghan Sebold