Accessories: Fashion. Love, Africa Turning Discarded Plastic Into Stylish Bags

Fashion. love, Africa [Africa Inspired]

Fashion. love, Africa

[Image credit: Fashion. love, Africa]

Africa is a continent of great paradoxes; unimaginable beauty sits alongside areas of unimaginable poverty both providing emotive images that have served to brand the continent to the outside world. Whilst the battle to improve the continent’s image goes on, so to does the need for the continued establishment of successful, sustainable businesses in Africa that can offer decent employment opportunities and a means to improve livelihoods within disadvantaged communities, ensuring that everyone can join in the prosperity, well-being and sense of achievement. This need becomes ever more clear when confronted with some of the indescribable situations people are forced into just to make it through a day, and this applies all over the world. I was thumbing through a recent copy of Essence magazine when I came across a brightly coloured bag by Fashion. love, Africa featured in one of the fashion stories; so off course had to check it out and in the process learnt a lot more about the brand.

Like the bags they sell, Fashion. Love, Africa is a colourful site portraying a sense of hope and optimism; so needed when you read the story behind it. Located Northwest of Nakuru Kenya is the Gioto Garbage dumping site, which is also a source of food, clothing and shelter to 140 families and nearly 300 children. Most of the families who have made their homes amongst the waste are headed by single mothers and grandmothers and nearly all are victims of rape, abuse and HIV. I don’t think my writing will do justice to the conditions of the Gioto Garbage dumping site so please visit and read The Gioto Garbage Slum project, set up by a local Pastor and his wife in Nakuru along with a volunteer from Northern Ireland.

Mary Bag - Fashion. love, Africa

[Image credits: Fashion. love, Africa]

Fashion. love, Africa was established to help provide a means of income to the families and make a difference, and designs the bags which are then hand crocheted by the women living in the hazardous conditions of the slum. The bags are made from post-consumer plastic bags sourced by the women from the dumping site. Each completed bag is then purchased directly from the woman who made it helping to ensure a consistent flow of income. The bags are striking and perfect for everyday use from a handbag with your personal items to a shopper. Fashion. love, Africa’s immediate goal is to purchase a 5000 square foot of land to re-house an estimated 25 families and USD$10 from the profits made after the sale of each bag goes into a fund to aid relocation, child sponsorship, medical assistance and a savings and loans programme.

Fashion. love, Africa - bags
Fashion. love, Africa

[Image credits: Fashion. love, Africa]

Let’s enjoy the beautiful inspired things coming out of Africa, but at the same time, lets make sure we also strive to uplift those in danger of being left behind. Yes, we want and need to turn around the negative perceptions but it would also be a great injustice to gloss over the harsh realities in an effort to do so. 

…Taking garbage and turning it into beautiful products you just want to have proves that when hopes and dreams turn into reality amazing things can happen.

Additional details:
Prices on the website: USD$50
For further information visit: fashionloveafrica.com
For further information on The Gioto Garbage Slum Project visit: www.garbageslum.org

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