On September 2021 as part of the Berlin Fashion Week, STREETWARE invited to the catwalk of the socio-economic utopia at Tempelhofer Feld . Thirty models presented saved items from the Berlin asphalt and questioned the production methods of the fast fashion, but also the behavior of consumers. The canon of beauty ideals and aesthetics dictated by the fashion industry was put up for discussion by shiny people with bodies beyond the norm.
In November, some of their effigies were presented as large-format prints on canvas at Bikini Berlin/ SPL gallery, opposite photographs from the series STREETWARE X MIVUMBA taken during a session in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, in July 2021 in collaboration between Ruth Faith Nalule, Eria Mutalwa, Rose Katusabe, Reagan Ahabwe, barbara caveng and photographer Jim Joël Nyakaana.
“There is no escape”
The creations of Ruth Faith Nalule describe the clash of European second-hand clothing exported to Africa with local manufacture: associations and images are merged, colonial continuity is interrupted – At the opening, the fashion designer and fashion activist wore the ‘Cage Dress’ – her body, wrapped in a gown made of kitenge, was caught in a mesh of strips of tyre material, additionally knotted with sisal cord.
STREETWARE has just restaged this creation with actress Ina Geraldine Guy and photographer Joachim Gern:
The yellw-black Catsuit is a saved item found in Silbersteinstraße, Berlin Neukölln at March 17, 2023
Fast Fashion, Second Hand Africa
written by Ruth Faith Nalule, fashion designer from Uganda
Clothes are an essential economical good because people want to have something to cover their bodies – well, just like any other product there is waste at the end of the production chain.
In search for a sustainable solution to cabe the growing number of waste from produce of clothes from the used clothes,the rags, the unwanted and the off cuts of fashion houses.
Some short term solutions have been placed in some places around the world to work towards cabbing the waste such as returning clothes to fashion houses ,recycling,upcycling, resale in second clothes as vintage and unfortunately some people are bunning clothes which is dangerous to our world, others throw clothes just any where on streets which isnt a sustainable solution. These can only contain a handfull.
Selling second clothes as goods in Africa is another way some countries have used to reduced waste or unwanted or used clothes for people to wear at streamly cheap prices which has left some economies to suffer. We must aggree that the initial reason for sending clothes to Africa as free aid is no longer valid because for many people its about the money,it doesnt matter the quality sent into markets or even the well being of the people who are to wear clothes.Africa is not a another continent on another planet that has people who dont have a choice. Africa is not a dump site and neither is any other continent on this planet earth.
Africa is only seperated by seas and oceans but, according to geography, the world once had only one land mass and due lots of changes the land masses kept moving apart, the universe shares a lot. It doesn’t matter which place we come from: we must all fight to protect the environment becuse every day it speaks an increasingly harsh language that we must pay attention to.
Waste in clothes due to fast fashion has made the condition even worse becuse people buy too much that is not sustainable and so throw away a lot more as a result and – of course- the rest is sent to Africa.
Second hand clothes to Africa is not a sustainable solution. Africa doesn’t need them, so much is put at stake with these clothes being thrown into markets. Some people dont know how to even handle some of the fabrics so they are wasted quicker.
Africa feeds nations, countries, continents, and our wolrd. Preserve it .We all depend on each other in some way.
Stay tuned: At the time Ruth is working on her new Website