Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Akabi - mission statement

Promoting Africa
Empowering Women
Loving Earth


Well i have set up my etsy.com shop, my shop on Not Just A Label should be up by the time of the launch, my website online store soon to be launched and laden showroom are all outlets for Akabi to initially sell with and now the Runway Showroom has emerged as a new outlet and one I am pursuing.

Have to make one sale at least before end of March...so better get cracking...is it March next week...time is flying!

Black website...eco friendly

My lovely boyf (i know you are reading Z) made an interesting comment that I should back up my points and no to publish thoughts without evidence and you know what he is right...I mean I am presently undertaking my masters with plans to do my PhD afterwards so I shouldn't be sloppy. Plus to back it up my mentor David did say that I should know and not 'think' i should never say I 'can't' or I 'think' he is pushing me to have assurance and confidence in what I say.

So here is some evidence re using a darker coloured website and energy use and saving

eco benefits

Did you know that darker colors take up less power then brighter colors? Well it's true. The colors you use on your website can actually save energy. Your website can be "green" or eco friendly and look professional too


A few months ago, TreeHugger Mark Ontkush wrote a post on his blog EcoIron titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year. The post lays out the following train of thought. “An all white web page uses about 74 watts to display, while an all black page uses only 59 watts.” Google, which has a white background and gets about “200 million queries a day” could reduce global energy use by 750 Megawatt-hours a year by simply changing the color of its homepage to black. (For more detailed calculations and assumptions check out the original post here.)


Blackle-The Energy Saving Search Engine was created by Heap Media to remind us all to take small steps in our everyday lives to save energy. Blackle searches are powered by Google Custom Search. Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. Image displayed is primarily a function of the user’s colour settings and desktop graphics, as well as the colour and size of the open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white screen (or light for that matter) than it does to display a black one.


Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year


 So see this search engine BLACKLE the google of energy saving search engines


The other good thing aside for being more energy efficient is that it is softer on the eyes...but I admit it is strange to see Google in Black(le) but i guess its just about getting used to it.

Either way good on you who already use black for your blogs...and so journey of an eco fashion brand blog follows this for a more energy efficient blog. 

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Site update...

Thought it needed a little freshening up and wanted to introduce you to the registerd Logo. Check out the facebook page for the logo on tees that are soon to purchase from the up and coming website and stockists.

Also I heard on the eco scene that a darker website is more 'environmentally friendly' as it emits less light energy....i dunno how true but i think it gives the site more of an edge..what you think...like it hate it??

Friday, 19 February 2010

Green Room launched on Asos


I have been looking forward to this and hope to get a slot with them later in the year but glad to see the biggest e-retailer (in my mind anyway) selling eco products to a vast customer base.

Check it out.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Africa on release

Well Asos are slowing bringing in the Africa range and mmmmhh im not sure...i dont hate it the pieces are actually pretty cool and i just know they will fly but need to check prices to see if it is actually feasible AND for some reason it reminds me of a few other brands especially Suno

For example Suno range.....

(photos from suno website)

 versus Asos Africa range....see below...

(photos from asos.com)

Interesting hey...there is usage of the east african Khanga fabric and also typical wax prints typical of store Vlisco so they capture east and west african looks... i do like it ......... but still undecided on my opinions. What do you think? Will Asos take over the world? :)

Latest edition of Arise

Arise mag out now....or is it? why can i not find it....come on faithful newsagent man get it in for my bi-monthly fix

Arise African Fashion Collective in New York
wish i was there....


Friday, 12 February 2010

Bollywood here i come

Awaiting confirmation but its as good as booked but next month will see me in India ... my first trip there and should be an interesting one.

I will be visiting an eco factory (i know the eco term...though in my blog title i need to ditch it soon....) and they do alot of things very ethically and i will be there to investigate to research and to learn.

I will confirm as things move into place but next week details should be in place.

So i must remember...cows are not food out there but friends....friends not food friends not food friends not food...hey...who do i have to kid im as good as veggie as i hardly eat meat...just about chicken! Either way its good to remember :)


A pet peeve of mine.....its a long story but I am slowly building up facebook for Akabi.
Exclusive pic of one of the tees taken from the photoshoot in Ghana.

More to follow


Thursday, 11 February 2010

Alexander Mcqueen


Cant believe Mcqueen is Dead...what a talented Designer.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

GreenShows New York

Fashion time is upon us again as all the shows kick off.

New York from 14th to 17th Feb hosts the Greenshows and i just love this designer. If you havent heard of Gary Harvey then you need to recognise!

Its not that he is the best designer but that he has taken an edge of sustainable design to the couture level so its not just a recycled / upcycled look but its well thought out high end fashion. He has done such cool things with newspaper, 2ndhand denim jeans.....so much stuff but i just like how he brings it together....okay let me stop...check out the pic man!

Gary Harvey's created this Baseball Puffball Dress from 26 nylon baseball jackets. They have been attached to a striped rib corset, worn over a baseball jacket with socks made from the rib cuffs originally shown at LFW Estethica in February


I am getting slowly excited by the day. I met with the graphic designer who is working on my website.....money is such an issue so the overly flash web idea i had is now increasingly reduced to a more simpler site but to be honest the sites we researched with the looks i could go for are actually cool and I am happy.

Just deciding on which photos to use and which to 'save' for marketing materials is soooooo hard...i mean i know i can be indecisive but this was like my babies...all the photos are good that made it very hard to decide so I have decided to use 15 for the home page as a taster to the collection then on the collections pages there will be a set of pictures relating to each range. Then there is the online store too which needs more pictures im trying to decide use a model or no model...mmmmmhhhh its tough as using a model shows it off better but no cash to pay a model BUT hanging up on a white background is cheap and clear and creates less opinions BUT some pieces really need to be on a person..mmmmhhhh i will get there well i have too by the end of this month or its not going on the website and no online store means no sales which means NO business...okay get my stuff together now.

Well sitting with David mentor next week to go over merchandising and costings. I have already decided to cancel a few styles as i am not 100% happy with them or the costs so far are not feasible enough and also financials on my side. But we will get it properly planned out and go from there.

I just wanna sell now.

But look out for May as I am due to present at my first show.

Seed of Hope for Vision Africa Give a Child a Future

I am seriously considering Seed of Hope - the vocational training arm of Vision Africa Give a Child a Future - as the charity I will support through Akabi.

The girls on this programme have had no hope of any higher education establishment and often only saw a bleak, poverty-stricken future. They come from a deprived past often struggling each day just to survive.

photo from seed of hope website - vision africa

Girls at Seed of Hope Quote from the website

We rescue girls from a variety of different circumstances, some from child-labour, some from child-marriage, some are simply orphans who have experienced horrific tragedies and have no-one to provide for them...We ... provide them with two years of training in Life-skills, Vocational Skills (Dressmaking and crafts) and Business skills.  Throughout this period of training we provide them with everything they require to learn, including qualified teachers and counsellors...Following the two years of training, we facilitate the girls as they establish their own small business, allowing them to live independently.


SO right now its between Mend - Invisible Children and Seed of Hope - Vision Africa. I feel once I get out to East Africa later in the year I will hopefully get to meet with these organisations and get things set up officially with them. To start with I will support with percentage of sales from the business going to the charities.

Getting there!

Afro Modern at the Tate

Unfortunately for some of us Londoners its at the Tate Liverpool but it looks very very interesting. ( i know i know liverpool is not out of this world but realistically .... i wont be able to nip over after work as i could in London)

Well its on Tate Liverpool 29 January  –  25 April 2010


Here is more info on the exhibition

Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic explores the impact of different black cultures from around the Atlantic on art from the early twentieth-century to today. The exhibition takes its inspiration from Paul Gilroy's influential book The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness 1993...
Gilroy used the term 'The Black Atlantic' to describe the transmission of black cultures around the Atlantic, and the instances of cultural hybridity, that occurred as a result of transatlantic slavery and its legacy. ...offering a network connecting Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Part of the exhibition includes showing movies....one of my favourites The Harder They Come...classic Jimmy Cliff movie from 1970's and a movie called Looking for Langston which I havent seen but I loved me a bit of the Harlem Renaissance artists and poets and think that that one could be interesting.

Check the website for more details.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

invisible children

I was told about this organisation and the work they do a while back and whilst coming out of the UCL gym tuesday night I embarked upon the team who were promoting the organisation Invisible children and showing the video at the university. As a designer creative I am interested in their Mend section as it deals with producing product.

This is what they say

"MEND is designed to seam a personal connection between products and their makers, while repairing the lives of women in distressed regions of the world...not charity. MEND is a...subdivision of Invisible Children, ... constructed with the belief that what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside should both matter ...Each piece carries the name of the seamstress who made it. Each individual name unlocks online profiles of each seamstress employed in our program.
The women employed in our program are formerly abducted child soldiers, often used in captivity as sex slaves. Those lucky enough to escape, often with children of their own, are ostracized due to their affiliation with the rebels...lack education, and are taught sewing as a part of their brief rehabilitation. With demand for seamstresses already sparse due to the war, many are left without the means to support themselves and their children. MEND is a socially and environmentally responsible company...in hopes of stimulating growth, local employment, and economic stability. Similar to its parent company- Invisible Children, MEND is beginning with northern Uganda, with the possibility of heedful worldwide expansion."


Such a worthwhile cause that truly touches my heart....using fashion as a means to help young Africans who fall prey to such horrible consequences. This is an organisation I would love to be involved with in some way or form and I will look them up whilst in Uganda hopefully this September

Rankin Exhibition - From Congo With Love

Until 11th April outside National Theatre
Looks interesting!

Coming from a fashion point of view this picture is extreme.....those machines are SOOOO heavy
but i want one so badly....eBay seem to have quiet a few or good ol' spitalfields market. I will buy one...but just not yet :)

Anyway gonna check out the exhibition..should be a good one

Asos doing Africa...its coming!

There was an article in yesterdays Evening Standard and also on Look magazines website.

Photo looks great and I think Soko are doing for them.

Look say this...

Asos Africa - a clothing and accessories collection that has been designed, sourced and produced by community groups in Africa.   The collection, which is sold exclusively at online fashion store Asos, includes contemporary jumpsuits, playsuits, blazers and cropped trousers that have all been re-worked using traditional African techniques. Plus, the collection is as ethical as it is stylish – all workers are given training and fair pay.     All that and tribal prints are one of this season’s hottest trends, so get shopping – as if you needed any excuse! - HE


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Centre for Sustainable Fashion - im in!

Today I attended a meeting with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) part of the London College of Fashion to see if i could join their year long programme to kick start Akabi in the next phase of the business.


The CSF, which is part funded by the European Union and works with Newham College of Further Education offers guidance and inspiration through a series of small group workshops and one-to-one advice and provides support and runs a programme for small to medium sized business as a first step towards embedding our philosophy in the fashion industry of the future. 

The programme explores how innovation in fabric development, production management, new technologies, communications, and most importantly design, can create exciting market opportunities and help a business grow in a dynamic and sustainable manner

I wanted to focus the programme on Akabi and showed them my photos of the photoshoot to which they were very impressed but put my details down for my bridal business as it is a Limited company and this is a Sole Trader business. But a friend advised me that once on it it doesnt matter and I can make Akabi the focus and get advice on both if required...so i will.

The two workshops commence once in March and once in April so that will be good to get me moving.

Chris Ofili

Tate Britain is presenting notable artist and 1998 Turner Prize winner, Chris Ofili exhibition until the 16th of May 2010.  Known for using media such as elephant dung (i know i know how random!), this very interesting artist presents over 45 pieces - paintings, pencil drawings and watercolours dating from around the mid 1990s until today inspired from various things.

Afrodizzia (2nd Version) 1996

 One to visit!