6 Black-Owned Fashion Brands Killing the Sustainable and Ethical Production Game • EBONY

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One thing that is certain is that the fashion revolution is on. The world is staying woke when it comes to fashion, particularly circumstances around the production of the garments we wear. Events like Fashion Revolution Week are celebrated to shed more light on sustainable fashion and all that it encompasses. There’s also Earth Day, which highlights the importance of utilizing eco-friendly practices in all ways. EBONY takes a look at some of the exceptional Black-owned brands translating the ideas of sustainability and ethical fashion values into alluring and drool-worthy pieces.

Studio 189
African-inspired and colorful sustainable clothing is the quintessence of Studio 189. The brand produces garments for both women and men. With the belief that everything you do, from what you buy to how you dress, has an impact, the garments produced by Studio 189 are predominantly handcrafted.

The company employs the use of goldsmithing and engraving for their accessories. Fabrics they use for their collections are made from tencel, pinatex pineapple leather, recycled and upcycled cotton in addition to organic cotton grown in Burkina Faso and Ghana. These are then transformed into their signature color-filled materials using natural dyes and hand painting and batiking techniques. You can dive into the world of Studio 189 here.

Emmy Kasbit 

The genesis of the Emmy Kasbit brand stems from the desire to clothe the unconventional man and woman who believes dressing should be intentional. 

The Nigerian-based ethical fashion brand uses a blend of local handwoven fabrics, like Akwete, to project culture and heritage. Emmy Kasbit works in collaboration with local weavers who make the Akwete fabrics from scratch using a loom. This is then tailored into strong and colorful, ready to wear pieces with often unexpected silhouettes. Emmy Kasbit pieces mostly feature fringed hemlines, Akwete paneled jackets and suits.  Explore the Emmy Kasbit pieces here

Awa Meité

Hubbed in Bamako Mali, Awa Meité is an Afrocentric fashion label by Awa Meité; a multitalented fashion and textile designer, filmmaker, stylist and painter. 

The label, built on the ideals of slow fashion and eco-consciousness, is known for its unique upcycled handmade cotton fabrics that they fashion into detailed ready-to-wear pieces. They come in an array of remarkable silhouettes in their signature hand-woven fabrics, prints and colors that are a tribute African culture. The Awa Meité label doesn’t only focus on sustainability but works closely towards women empowerment through well paying and safe jobs. You can get some of their unique pieces here. 

Larry Jay 

The ethos of the Larry Jay brand is ethical fashion. Initially started as an accessories line by Larry Jafaru Mohammed, the line has grown into a unisex Ghanaian fashionwear. The brand is heavily inspired by nature, arts and various African cultures. Expect style aesthetics that are mainly avant-garde, timeless and traditionally modern with this designer.

Larry Jay’s sustainability and commitment to ethical production is seen in the brand’s use of thoughtful tie-dyeing techniques and deep rich hues that are environmentally friendly. Both traditions pay homage to their diverse cultural inspirations. Shop Larry Jay’s eco-friendly pieces here. 

Kenneth Ize

This brand focuses and interprets Nigerian craft to create an original perspective on luxury production. Kenneth Ize supports a community of weavers, and also artisans. The line is devoted to the long-lasting heritage of Nigeria and local artisanship, where they fuse in new design aesthetics. The brand believes that exploring and nurturing existing cultures paves the way to an exciting space for more inspiring traditions. 

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Maliko Studios 

Maliko is a luxury accessory and footwear brand that is a visual representation of the busy and colorful city of Lagos. Ebuka, the creative director and founder, starts most of the design process with a sketch that eventually forms the blueprint of the many pieces produced by the brand. 

Maliko works with in-house artisans that handcraft the shoes and accessories from scratch. The materials for the designs are thoughtfully sourced from all over Nigeria with a frequent fusion of the creative reuse of materials like buttons. What makes Maliko stand out is how leather, wood and colourful upcycled pieces are beautifully juxtaposed to create the perfect design. Check Maliko Studios out for yourself here.

Ekow Barnes is a culture writer living in Accra, Ghana. His writing has appeared in CNN Style, Essence, Vogue Italia, Vogue Business, Dazed, i-D, and more. As a writer & producer, he specializes in producing content in Africa. Ekow Barnes has a diverse portfolio of clients both internationally and domestically.
His focus is on pushing emerging talents and showing their works to the rest of the world. I love to write and also producing authentic stories.



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