Ugandan Fashionistas Are Turning Trash Into Treasure To Reduce Waste


There is a lot of respect for the traditional ways of creating fashion, however, these days, you'll find designers who are breaching the mold. These creatives use their inventive means to produce avant-garde clothes and consequently pioneer a new frontier in the fashion world.

An example of such brands is Catherine & Sons, whose designs are made from carefully assembled second-hand clothing and sewn together to create a whole different, new and individual story.

Catherine & Sons feel it is their responsibility to the environment to make clothes with materials that meet ethical standards. This is why they decided to give a new life to items that might otherwise decompose or be thrown away.

Over the last few years, founder, Edward Sempa has shifted his brand away from creating traditional seasonal lines to upscaling old garments found in second-hand markets. He turns these items into brand new, limited-edition pieces for a different fashion statement. 

Using environmentally responsible materials and recycled fabrics, Catherine & Son's designs are feminine yet classic, as seen in their latest SS/18 collection. The striking collection features an array of loosely paneled pieces remade with love from old denim and linen. Speaking to Nataal about this collection, Sempa said: 

"Basically, every item in the collection started off its life as trousers. They were first washed, then totally ripped apart, and then we started to lay our patterns. It's very time consuming, however it makes each garment unique."

His aim with this approach is to address how East Africa’s clothing industries are affected by the vast amount of second-hand clothing that arrives with foreign aid and trade. Unable to compete with the prices, local makers have suffered, and the once-thriving industry has wilted.

Check out some of the designs from the latest collection here: