I have always loved being surrounded by vibrant colours and this became heightened when I relocated to The Netherlands.
Growing up in Nigeria, and later on in South Africa, I was surrounded by loads of bright and colourful fabrics. In Europe on the other hand, clothes tend to be darker-toned or employ fewer colour combinations.
I created UnikBlends, among other reasons, to bring some of the vibrant African Fabrics colours to my home in the Netherlands and share them with others. Colours make us feel alive, and their beauty could be likened to our need for clean water and clean air.
My love for colours was such that for my wedding, I desired a Bold, Beautiful and Bright gown, with vibrant earthy colours. I still wish I stuck out the 'war' I had with my sister and parents over what ended up as a 'white' wedding gown.
Reflecting back on on that day, which is over 11 years ago, my entire wedding was actually a fusion, a true unique blend of a number of cultures and style - for I have always been one who loves blending and creating combinations with lasting memories.
Time for Zerowaste
I regard the typical Nigerian wedding as some sort of fashion fiasco, defined by large gatherings of people, all decked out in colourful attires and women adorned with incredible head gears, called 'geles'.
I am most intrigued at the vast amount of intricate and elaborate headstyles into which the African gele/asooke can be fashioned. They are literally pieces of art. A pity thought that once the wedding party is over, the very next weekend, when another wedding is on, a different piece of gele fabric will be required given that each bride wants her special day to be unique with her own gele of choice!
I decided to do something about the unfortunate fate of the numerous gorgeous geles and asookes that are stored away in several closets, not receiving day light once they have served their original purpose--- as fashionable headgear accessories.
Hence, the Zerowaste approach is fundamental to UnikBlends as it is now more crucial than ever with the amount of damage already done to our beloved mother earth. Zerowaste is a philosophy aimed at avoiding as much waste as possible and you’ll be shocked how the slightest of positive action can have a huge impact.
Repurposing is a Radical Act
With fashion as the second most polluting industry and given the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the impact of global warming of 1.5 degree celsius, there is a REAL need for action. Lifestyle changes and actions can make a big difference, says Dr Debra Roberts, the IPCC's co-chair.
As discarded clothes are piling up in landfill sites and plastic fibre fragments are flowing into the sea when synthetic clothes are washed…..UnikBlends offers a simple, yet radical solution that is also empowering: Recycle & Repurpose to Reinvent everyday wear!
African's Geles and AsoOkes are beautiful handwoven indigenous fabrics from West Africa, that are durable with superior quality, making them suitable for the creation of stylish functional bags and accessories. These add exciting colour and style to everyday look and readily serve as unique gifts to be cherished by your loved ones.
The Upcycled GeleObiBelt is one of our latest creation. It can readily be used to transform any plain dress into an exciting, modern outfit that says, 'I am confident and cool'. These belts are double-sided, offering ladies the opportunity to blend with several outfits.
Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia states that repairing and repurposing this way is a radical act. "Fixing something we might otherwise throw away is almost inconceivable, but the impact is enormous".
UnikBlends offers repairs and repurposing services to transform once loved fabrics into bold, colorful and vintage pieces. You can also get your clothing repaired, repurposed to reinvent your wardrobe.
If you wish to be part of this simple Radical Act, meet us at out next pop-up at the Annual International Food Fair in The Hague.
You will be investing in sustainable style and unique gifts while directly empowering the woman who handmade your purchase as well as raising funds to support charities all around the world. It the most radical thing you can do this year!