23 April 2018
by Kendall Robbins
As part of Fashion Revolution Week, 23 – 29 April 2018, the British Council have commissioned a series of 7 short films profiling the innovative stories of 7 practitioners across the world, including fashion designers, artists, architects and entrepreneurs. The films have been created in the spirit of the grassroots movement, using content produced by the practitioners themselves and directed by Kate Cox and produced by the Smalls.
Ugandan brand Catherine & Sons looks to alleviate the issue of the mass quantities of secondhand Western clothing flooding the African market through upcycling. In this film, they explore the issues and their processes.
ABOUT CATHERINE & SONS
We Make Clothes, And Stuff. Now, as an ethical company we as C&S feel that we have a responsibility to make sure our garments are produced under conditions and with materials that meet ethical standards. We therefore decided to breathe life into items that might otherwise decompose at a landfill. But not only that. C&S also critically asks the question of how the onslaught of second-hand waste that East Africa receives from Western non-profits and wholesalers creates different realities for the fashion industry here altogether.
We do not claim to “save the world” - we are just utilizing resources in a cycle of “trash to treasure”.
Using environmentally responsible materials and recycled fabrics, C&S’ designs are feminine yet classic. But they are more than that: they are also unique. Each piece is made from carefully recut, reassembled second hand clothing and sewn together to create a whole different, new and individual story.
Our resources are finite – thus, we have to find a way to provide for the needs of future generations. The careless use of our resources endangers “integrity, stability and beauty” of our planet. We as C&S strive to uphold exactly that integrity, stability and beauty – through our design, tying aesthetics and ethics. But wasting waste is also a waste of resources. This is why our mantra consists of upcycling. Each upcycled product conserves water and air and contributes to the change needed to close the loop on waste.