Fashion: José Hendo Bark Cloth Fashion Collection

José Hendo [Uganda]

Jose Hendo

Jose Hendo

[Image credits: José Hendo, Resonance Collection – Oliver Morris]

An ancient craft performed by the Baganda people of the Buganda Kingdom in South Uganda Barkcloth is a unique material, made from beaten tree bark in a centuries-old technique, and is considered to be the oldest manmade fabric resulting in it being declared a World Heritage Material in 2005. Barkcloth is the fabric of choice for Ugandan fashion designer José Hendo whose award-winning collection entitled Resonance was made entirely of the material. In a deep-hued colour palette, the Resonance collection is quite futuristic and features strong sculpted forms rather like Japanese origami, apt given the material used, and Jose has drawn inspiration from Japanese cutting and tailoring techniques.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is José’s mantra, inspired by a return to University which saw her learn about about the life-cycle of a garment, from growing the crop to landfill and recycling. Designing with an increased awareness of the impact the fashion industry has on the environment, José aims to challenge fashion’s throwaway culture, through her choice of materials, clever cutting and simplified production processes utilised within her London-based studio. Combining design with sustainability, José’s collections are based on the use of eco-fabrics like organic barkcloth, cotton, raw and untreated, and recycled fabrics and used garments reworked into unique one-off pieces. Customers can also bring their own garments to José to be reworked.

Jose Hendo
Jose Hendo

Jose Hendo

[Image credits: José Hendo, Resonance Collection – Oliver Morris]

An active member of her community Jose runs free workshops educating attendees on the need for sustainability in fashion; and also hires apprentices and offers work experience within her studio. Each José Hendo sale sees a percentage given back to charity.

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For further information about José Hendo: www.joseworld.com 

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  1. Jose’ thanks so much for reviving such forgotten treasures of our Fore Fathers and bringing out such beauty !!!
    The fashions speak volumes of your creativity and passion for the bark as an eco- media called LUBUGO in the Luganda language, of Uganda.
    Again thank you for these gifts of Art form you to us to pass onto our children and children’ children