An Op-Ed on the intersection of Culture and Sustainability in Japan and Ghana Part 1

An Op-Ed on the intersection of Culture and Sustainability in Japan and Ghana by Samata

A multicultural phenomenon, the global fashion industry provides sustenance to designers from a plethora of cultural backgrounds. Exploring the lessons, traditional practises and cultural philosophies which might benefit the ethical fashion sector, I focused on two countries close to my heart; Ghana, the birthplace of my parents, and Japan, an intriguing country I studied in school (picking up an AS in Japanese to boot during my A-Levels). In doing so I wonder if the space where culture and fashion intersect provides progressive ground in the sustainable fashion conversation. Starting in Ghana, where clothing matters, and both expensive Western and traditional items are an important symbol of education and wealth.

Ghana’s Visual Eco Dialogue

Fashion’s spotlight is on the culture-rich continent Africa – the sub-saharan market alone is worth $31 billion according to Euromonitor whilst Ghana, one of its 55 countries and known cultural gateway to West Africa, boasts an apparel and footwear market worth $167 million. Underneath the vibrant noise of the popular cotton wax prints, sustainability has always been an ongoing cultural conversation, and according to Kofi Laing, Joy 99.7fm radio host and Multi Tv’s fashion presenter, the Adinkra symbols – dating back to royal attire circa 1817 – prove it. “Adinkra is a sacred cloth using adinkra symbols, which are proverbs of advice relating to the proper conduct of the individual in society. Rooted in tradition and an inherent respect for the earth, Adinkra are used to express traditional Ghanaian proverbs, even commemorating anniversaries and elections.” A visual tool, the designs and patterns are a communicative statement printed on furniture, sculptures and clothing which both a literal meaning and philosophical message. Not your average statement tee, embroidered with traditional symbols this clothing often channels a message of sustainability. Read more…

New revampled website live

New and improved SamataHome! We have a bunch of great articles coming, covering topics from eco travel across to the best eco toys for babies. Things we love to write about so of course…sustainable fashion is the main theme. Have a wander around! The site has been updated to make it easier to find content, view videos and to see what the latest is. Enjoy!

Behind the scenes for Environmental Media Awards

I recently attended the Environmental Media Awards, and loved wearing British brand accessories by Toolally alongside my special find from Sue Ryder.

Some of my most favourite pieces have come from independent retailers, luxury (quality-focused) brands, independent designers or one-off vintage markets, and charity shops. I picked up the clutch below up from Sue Ryder Charity (they support people with complex needs and life-threatening illnesses). Personally, I would rather find something original, often vintage, and pre-loved which is great quality , especially when the race to the bottom and design obsolescence has meant that today’s clothing barely compares in quality to what was made 10, 20, 30 years ago. What about you? Read more…

Behind The Scenes at an exciting photoshoot…

Stay tuned for this August!

Makeup – Aleroh Beauty | Styling – Samata | Photographer – Jonathan Pattinson

OSCARS 2017

On my way Oscars Sunday. I wore a piece I designed to the Oscars in a marigold colour because I wanted to channel some celebration. Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, the colour psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. My jewellery is from @AweInspired and has a powerful story of survival (see earlier post). The hair clips in my braids are a tribute to African braid art – these beautiful braids by @BraidsByRubee took 10 hours and I wanted to showcase them properly so more to come. Pop over to @RedCarpetGreenDress and thank you for supporting us all! More to come – still in it. Makeup by @MakeUpByKai. _______________________________________________________ #RCGD #RCGD2017 #Oscars2017 #Oscars #Fashion

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Oscars Sunday. My jewellery is @AweInspired_. I was thrilled to be wearing a Signature Diamond Medallion from AWE Alive We’re Empowered (@aweinspired_) a new fine jewelry company on a mission to honor, unite, and celebrate all survivors, regardless of affliction. AWE jewelry is made of solid sterling silver or 14k yellow gold: designed to endure like the survivors it honors. The AWE Medallion’s four droplets represent the ingredients of survival (blood, sweat, tears of sorrow, and tears of joy) and 20% of each AWE sale benefits four charity partners that directly serve those in need of assistance on their road to survival. Check out our girls on @RedCarpetGreenDress. Another year, more lessons and more blessings. _______________________________________________________ #RCGD #RCGD2017 #Oscars2017 #Oscars #Fashion

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LOS ANGELES PERSONAL STYLE – DAY THREE | MERCI ME London – Huffington Post

Dress – Not available until February, browse Merci ME | Bag – OKAPI | Cuff – Bermondsey 167 

I recently wore British brand Merci Me London to the Environmental Media Awards in Los Angeles. The awards recognize the huge influence entertainment wields over the public and how that can be used to spread environmental awareness in ways both subtle and strong; producers, directors, actors, writers, musicians and celebrities nominated for an EMA Award share a passion for the environment and a socially conscious ethos. Whilst walking the carpet discussing sustainable issues, the decision to wear ethical fashion seemed astute!

Founded by the London-based designer Economics graduate in 2008, Merci Me London can be found headquartered in East London. The young designer is quickly becoming known for classic chic and contemporary with an edge – the lime green silk dress I wore to the media awards was inspired by classic glamour and feminine luxe, providing no exception to Mercy’s minimal design approach. In fact the designer recently launching a collection which eradicated the need for zips, buttons or fastenings. “Everything is either simply worn, draped or tied.”

Read more…

A Sustainable Fashion Diary for London Fashion Week – Full Day Three, Part Two – Huffington Post

Founded by a self-starter Jessica Schuhle-Lewis with no external investment, Orwell and Austen design with a focus on statement design which rightfully placed them under Draper’s spotlight at their Scoop trade show round up. A luxury designer cashmere destination, Orwell and Austen create contemporary women and unisex fashion and accessories pieces from the highest quality fabrics, whether cashmere or cashmere blends, Orwell and Austen have opted to never use synthetic mixes and why would they want to? There is nothing like cashmere when you are looking for a beautiful piece to last a lifetime, but cashmere that has been consciously sourced settles perfectly in the sweet spot.

The brand focuses on modern classics with a refreshingly youthful twist, combining cashmere (soft but not too delicate that you fear a second wear) with fresh statements – using a majority of hand weaving, knitting and finishing techniques; in the case of my cool ‘Je Ne Regrette’ sweater (perfectly priced at £195), the slogan was hand printed using a screen printing technique. The brand works closely with a small family run factory in Nepal, a region renowned for some of the finest quality cashmere in the world and have been working with the same manufacturer (a small to medium family based unit in the Kathmandu Valley) since they launched in 2012. Read more…