In the sustainable designer fashion industry, we believe it is important to share what other brands are doing. As African fabrics continue to be incorporated into mainstream clothing, we feel the need to support the growth of these brands to compete with the fast fashion industry. We have curated a list of small sustainable brands with significant value to the luxury fashion industry, each unique in its style.
Christie Brown is an African luxury fashion brand created by Aisha Ayensu in 2008. Targeted for women, this brand specializes in both clothing and accessories. Christie Brown describes their clothing as a “fusion of colour and culture”, and this is certainly evident. Christie Brown’s fashion combines a bold yet sophisticated appearance, incorporating traditional African aesthetics. Integrating culture in a way that is preserved by modern elegance is key with this brand.
Maxhosa Africa was founded by Laduma Ngxokolo in 2012. It is a South-African knitwear brand, targeted at both men and women. Laduma is a Xhosa initiate and aimed to design his knitwear for amakrwala like him. His brand is the embodiment of traditional Xhosa design and aesthetic that has been converged with modern knitwear. Laduma’s journey in the industry has allowed him to master the Xhosa aesthetic, and create a line of clothing that perfectly represents its beauty. Maxhosa Africa wants to pierce global markets with designs that demonstrate the Xhosa culture and become a leading African luxury brand.
Orange Culture is a unique Nigerian brand founded in 2011 by Adebayo Oke-Lawal. His vibrant, outstanding designs are targeted to men and women who want their appearance to tell a story about themselves. Clothing is manufactured from ethically sourced fabrics from local Nigerian fabric makers, and aim to incorporate traditional Nigerian-inspired designs into modern streetwear. Adebayo started this brand as a “movement” and has achieved many great things since its collaboration with the industry, having gained international recognition in various publications across the world such as Vogue and The New York Times. This sustainable brand has certainly entered the global market.
Loza Maléombho founded her brand in 2009 in New York City, before relocating to Côte d’Ivoire in 2012. Loza developed her own brand on the foundation of vast experience in fashion designing which began at the age of 13. Since then, she graduated from the University of the Arts of Philadelphia and interned with New York City’s top brands. Loza’s brand extracts from traditional African aesthetic and integrates it into contemporary clothing and has gained international recognition in publications such as Vogue. Loza Maléombho works with weavers and shoemakers to craft enduring pieces that celebrate “the paradox of the old and new, cultural and futuristic”.
Kenneth Ize founded his brand in 2013 after graduating from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Kenneth’s brand continued to develop alongside his education, returning for his master’s degree at the same university before releasing a new collection in 2016. His goal for his clothing is to “make everything sustainable” and stand out in his methods. Now, his brand works with a range of artisan groups across Nigeria to craft new designs on the foundations of tradition. Kenneth Ize has now developed a niche that offers an original perspective on Nigerian design.
Bodgar is a brand committed to sustainability and high-quality fashion. Established in Bulgaria in 2015, this brand uses only organic and recycled fabrics. They conduct their production and manufacturing in the most environmentally friendly methods, using organic silk and faux leather to reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, this brand uses GOTS-certified cotton and viscose from cotton crop waste. Among sustainable fashion brands, Bodgar is certainly outstanding in its commitment.
House of Sunny was founded in 2011 in London by Sunny Williams. Specializing in womenswear, many of House of Sunny's designs are clearly inspired by the African aesthetic, retaining a fresh yet unique look. House of Sunny commits its designing process to sustainable methods, refusing the use of animal products and utilizing recycled materials. Not only is this brand 100% vegan, but garment bags are made from biodegradable plastic. Outside of their designing process, House of Sunny commits to reducing its carbon footprint by using less impactful transportation methods and producing sustainable fabrics with e-flow technology.
Hannah Cawley founded her brand in 2017. Despite this brand gearing towards British craftsmanship, we feel it belongs here due to its commitment to sustainable methods. However, there are certain designs that clearly draw their inspiration from African prints. Cawley designs their clothing to be timeless and suitable for women’s everyday wear. Pieces are manufactured manually in London. Fabrics are sourced from traditional sources across England, Ireland, Portugal, India, and Japan. Cawley commits to using only organic fabrics.
Nanushka was established in Hungary in 2006 by Sandra Sandor. This sustainable brand aims to build an “elegant, modern wardrobe creatively” through sustainable production. They have developed a niche in their design that commemorates nature and community. Dedicated to local hand-made manufacturing, Nanushka increases the ratio of sustainable items in each collection. As they transition into more responsible production, they nurture a working environment that fosters sustainability and transparency and interpret natural elements in their clothing. Having grown into an international business, Nanushka is very open about its commitments to design approaches and material uses that respect the planet.
Felisha Noel founded this brand to encapsulate her philosophy of life and travel. Clothing is vastly influenced by her Grenadian heritage, conveying culture, glamour and sophistication through her designs. Felisha began her journey in the industry at 19, and her brand has since received international recognition for her unique blend of vibrancy and sensibility in everyday womenswear. Manufactured locally in a small production facility in Brooklyn, Fe Noel’s designs are complemented by high-quality fabrics. You are investing in timeless clothing that will outlive you, rather than spending less on cheaper clothing that won’t last past the next season.
At Sika, we too are committed to sustainable fashion. Browse our range,
or find out more about our sustainability commitment here