The other day, I was asked for my title at an event where I was to deliver a presentation. I thought hard but could not pin it down to one or two words such as being a Project Manager, Project Engineer or Process Engineer. Unlike in the past, I have come to embrace the fact that I am much more than a title or job function. My work is a complete body of activities and engagements, through which I add value by providing genuine and unique contributions.
These days, besides being a full time wife and mother -- who, by the way, has a career in developing and directing engineering projects -- I see myself as a social innovator, passionate about promoting sustainability through the use of sustainably-sourced, brightly coloured and bold-patterned African Fabrics. These include the traditional handwoven Aso-Oke, Geles, natural-dyed Batik, Tye & dye, and Adire from West Africa.
My passion for colour, nature and people, led to my first ever fair fashion event, in Utrecht, The Netherlands, where I gave a lecture on the role of engineers, scientists and designers collaborating to create innovative, high-performance outfits.
I got the opportunity to share how technologies such as bio-fabrication and blockchain offer possibilities to revolutionize the fashion industry and redefine how clothes are created for long term use.
UnikBlends got to showcase the Upcycle Denim & Aso-Oke Bucketbag as well as our UnikBlazers, products designed by talented designers who had never been exposed to a sustainability-conscious or international audience. This was such an achievement and the enthusiasm felt that day, is one that has convinced me that I might just be on the right path with my sustainability journey, 2 years on from the creation of UnikBlends!
In the past 3 years, I have spent considerable amounts of time learning and discovering the numerous possibilities of being sustainable. Not only in fashion, but also as a way of life. This was heightened during an illness over 2 year ago. While convalescing, I decided to research the subject of sustainability and came to realize some hard facts about my industry of work (oil & gas), as being quite polluting.
I considered that while I may not be able to change our global dependence on fossil fuels, I could have some impact, perhaps a little impact, on the fashion industry. This is achieved primarily through blogging as a means of raising awareness of the importance of sustainability and how sustainable fashion, in particular, could make a huge difference on people and the planet.
UnikBlends inspires individuals to rethink their daily choices, particularly fashion, and to take intentional steps and actions that would substantially reduce our collective negative impact on Nature.
One only has to pause a little to reflect on the fast-fashion industry and how cheap garments just pile up to generate a staggering amount of waste. The true cost of this '2nd most polluting' industry should spur us on to rethink our fashion and become sustainable.
Sustainable fashion is not boring, expensive or difficult as some may perceive it. There is a need to focus on the long term impact of the clothes we wear as opposed to the short term 'supposedly' derived benefits from cheap, poor quality and quickly discarded clothing.
UnikBlends proposes creative and exciting DIY (Do it Yourself) approaches, which each person can take towards making sustainable fashion and sustainability a norm.
These approaches are centred around daily choices and include:
1. Acquire & Share information
Knowledge, facts and continuous understanding of the fashion industry, acquired from personal discoveries, enables individuals make conscientious decisions about their daily activities. These decisions would hopefully be more beneficial for mother nature.
2. Pause, Think before Shopping
Considering each purchase as a need versus want enables the act of conscious shopping, which aids sustainable living, which in turn is better for the environment.
Only buy when in real need!
With some gentle care and repair, you could reuse and extend the life of your current garments.
This way, you save your hard earned money and reduce waste that would be created otherwise.
Before you buy, Reconsider the following .....because ReFashion is the new Fashion!
3. Shop Sustainably
This is the act of conscious shopping to reduce waste generated by the end user. It is achieved by shopping for slow fashion items, which are readily identified with labels such as:
• Second Hand or Vintage
• Rent or Swop
• Locally made
• Made from organic/bio-based materials and processes
• Multi-functional Purpose – Do more with less
Celebrate in Style with Gifts that Matter
So, it is that time of the year, when gifts are expected and should be given! Why not be intentional this Christmas and celebrate with gifts that are unique, special and make a difference.
All UnikBlends accessories are handmade from recycled or environmentally friendly fabrics (i.e. handwoven or naturally dyed). These colourful and unique accessories will add to the happiness and joy of the season, a feeling that is bound to last for a long time!
All products can be purchased online. You could also meet us at our live events, where we offer you the opportunity to experience authentic African fabrics through an engaging display of contemporary fashion. At these events, we also provide you a limited sale of fashionable items, which could serve as delightful gifts for your loved ones.
Wherever and however you choose to celebrate the season, do so in style and may the New year bring with it, bright and brilliant opportunities for you to create your own long term possibilities.