Sustainability within the fashion industry

Chenesai launches Fashion Futures in partnership with the British Council and Nataal Media.

24 January 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Fashion Futures, a collaborative project led by Chenesai in partnership with the British Council and Nataal Media, debuted last Thursday. The new body of work will be simulcast in four countries – Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the UK – with unique installations simultaneously showcased live from each country.

Over the past year, four diverse storytellers – Zimbabwean visual artist Lucia Nhamo, British-Ghanaian writer, curator and visual anthropologist Adjoa Armah, Malawian beauty and wellness expert Thokozani Phiri and Namibian design and fashion creative Leah Misika – carried out groundbreaking research on sustainability within the fashion industry.

Each of them produced stories for a country other than their own – Nhamo for the UK, Armah for Zimbabwe, Phiri for Namibia and Misika for Malawi. Following research trips, they worked closely with global media brand Nataal to produce compelling multimedia reports. These new narratives explore emerging fashion sectors across southern Africa and the UK in order to successfully uplift and connect these fledgling ecosystems.

For the launch, Namibia hosted a Fashion Futures cocktail night which included a presentation and a small exhibition that showed the evolution of Misika's findings. Her work will also be presented in Katima Mulilo, as the journey has inspired a new direction for her fashion brand.

Zimbabwe will host a Fashion Futures mixed live installation that will celebrate the articles of Nhamo and Armah. Incorporating a traditional braai, spoken word poetry and a model presentation, the installation will be led by Zimbabwean fashion houses Natai Natai, Soul'd Dreams, Chenesai Brand and creative consortium Domane.

The Fashion Futures launch in Malawi will include a fashion showcase at the British Council offices in the Lilongwe city centre. It will include a discussion on second-hand clothing as well as a display of local designers who are creating sustainable fashion in the country.

The multinational launch of Fashion Futures reflects the nature of the project, which aims to build capacities in fashion sectors across the continent and beyond. The final works are published on Nataal's website, together with a project overview written by Tatenda Kanengoni, who was part of the project documentation team in Zimbabwe.

“Fashion Futures puts into perspective the trading value of the fashion sector, which is often overlooked, particularly on the African continent. We are excited about the multinational launch because it is reflective of the future of work, a future that acknowledges cross-sector collaboration in order to harness and advance talent,” says Chenesai.

STAFF REPORTER

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