Cleaning up our act

Thinking about what happens after we buy our clothes...

It’s Friday!

So grab a quick coffee and a five-minute minute break to catch up on all things fashion and sustainable in Kenya and beyond.

For the next few editions, we’re focusing on the topic of sustainable sourcing among companies trying to do good for the environment: the challenges they face, the opportunities arising, and of course the solutions entrepreneurs have found.

Now we’re sure you’re a conscious shopper when it comes to buying your clothes. But have you thought about what you wash them in?

Buying second-hand or up-cycled clothes is great for the environment. But what happens next? This 2017 Make Fashion Circular report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights that washing our clothes releases a shocking half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles. Something to consider…

The interview: Staying Grounded with Megan Root

And someone who is on top of this, and all things cleaning-related in a sustainable fashion, is Megan Root, founder of Grounded, the nontoxic cleaning company. From natural laundry power to liquid soap, disinfectant and even… yes, the so on-trend hand sanitizer… we love the pure cleaning power.

Honing her experience in manufacturing in China, and then an overland trip from China to Cape Town, her career in product development has led to a number of brands you might have heard of: 254 Brewing Co craft beers and the Kenyan Kombucha Booch, for example?

We asked Megan what inspired her to take the sustainable road less traveled, and what the future of manufacturing in Kenya looks like? Check out our interview, Staying Grounded with Megan Root.

Three Kenyan brands chosen for Ethical Fashion Initiative accelerator

We’re stoked that three Kenyan brands have been chosen by the Ethical Fashion Initiative – a joint venture between the UN and World Trade Organization International Trade Centre – to participate in its second accelerator programme.

Katush by Katungulu Mwendwa, Suave Kenya and Hamaji were chosen for their use of reclaimed and organic fabrics and “commitment to sustainability.” We love the totes at Suave Kenya, founded in 2013 by Mohammed Awale. His idea was sparked while rummaging through heaps of denim outfits at local thrift market, Gikomba Market, the largest open-air market in East Africa. Awale still sources the material for his bags from unwanted garments to end the landfill cycle.

The programme will help these brand expand their supply chain and scale up their production, with each designer assigned a production mentor and guidance from the Ethical Fashion Initiative team and industry experts. We’re looking forward to seeing them grow!

A post shared by Suave Ke. (@suave_ke)

Ear to the ground…

With International Women’s Day coming up on Monday March 8th, take a look at these events happening in the next two weeks. The Nairobi Flea Market at the Arbor brings you the all-day market from 10am-6pm on February 28th, followed by the evening edition of sun-downer mixers.

A post shared by The Nairobi Flea Market (@thenairobifleamarket)

Zen Garden has a pop-up market for women entrepreneurs on March 6th with Victoria Commercial Bank, starting at 10 and ending at 4.

A post shared by zengarden (@zengardenkenya)

At The Souk in Karen, 54 State Stories has a women-owned business market from 10-6pm from Saturday March 6th to Sunday March 7th.

A post shared by 54State Stories (@54statestories)

Every weekend there is a farmer’s market at the Shamba Cafe, bringing you fresh fruit and vegetables. Now they’re also expanding to include arts and crafts. So grab and find us there on Saturday.

A post shared by Shamba Cafe & Shop (@shambacafe)