Three Kenyan designers have been selected to participate in the second Ethical Fashion Initiative Accelerator.
Hamaji, Katungulu Mwendwa of Katush and Mohammed Awale of Suave welcomed the opportunity as a platform to grow.
The initiative (EFI) is a joint venture of the UN and WTO’s International Trade Centre. It follows the organisation’s successful launch of their nationwide accelerator search in 2019.
Selected designers benefit from mentoring and brand development from the EFI team and industry experts.
The chosen designers all share a commitment to sustainability, using reclaimed and organic fabrics to create their collections, while noting their country and upbringing in Kenya as heavily inspiring their work.
In a statement, Hamaji said, “I feel hugely honoured and extremely excited to be a part of the EFI accelerator programme, to have this opportunity to expand my knowledge and be mentored in the development of my brand in a sustainable approach with international and local expertise in Kenya.”
Mwendwa described the opportunity as surreal. “There have been times where it has felt completely overwhelming to have to learn to wear a thousand hats with limited guidance, and like an answer to a prayer often said, this comes as a strong statement of encouragement.”
Whilst Mohammed Awale of Suave said, “I’m really overjoyed to be selected for the EFI Kenya accelerator programme. Looking forward to learning from the vast EFI network.”
EFI head Simone Cipriani said the continued development of their designer accelerator programmes in Africa provides a new generation of African design talent the opportunity to engage with the international market.