Fresh and Cool: CHiCHiA Collaborates with ASOS Africa For SS16
Get in the summer spirit with the new ASOS Africa x CHiCHiA collection. Created in 2010, the ASOS Africa collection is manufactured by SOKO Kenya (from yesterday’s post) at their eco-factory in rural Kenya. SOKO’s goal has always been to prove that it is possible to run a self-sustaining manufacturing business whilst having social and environmental principles at its core.
This season the brand has collaborated with London-based designer Christine Mhando, better known as CHiCHiA. After her studies, Christine gained invaluable experience working for high-end designers as well as womenswear brands and suppliers for the high-street Mecca. With the knowledge she acquired, Tanzanian-born Mhando launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, Chichia. Her line showcases traditional East African textiles in wearable silhouettes of dresses and separates in a variety of succulent colours, modernising the traditional wrap dresses into a stylish and contemporary shape. Incorporating a selection of six, exclusively designed prints across 18 styles, for this collaboration CHiCHiA’s designs transpire from traditional east African textile print creating contemporary silhouettes with a modern twist. Using a palette of washed pastels with cleverly designed prints, CHiCHiA x ASOS Africa offers the perfect daytime attire for summer.
In addition to being sartorially on point, this collection offers ethics with the aesthetics. As part of workers contracts with SOKO, employees receive hot meals and refreshments each day plus healthcare cover. They also benefit from the facilities at Wildlife Works including a crèche, kitchen and washing facilities. This is particularly beneficial for the working mothers at SOKO. The area where the factory is based has one of the highest unemployment rate in the country. It also has a high rate of prostitution, HIV/AIDS and wildlife poaching. SOKO offers people an alternative means of making a living. Through training and employment they have enabled women to take control of their own lives and provide for their families. (Read more about SOKO in our Changemaker series.)
Following the launch of ASOS Africa the ASOS Foundation has continued working on other projects in the community. On ASOS’ most recent visit to Kenya the Kenyan ‘Pipeline’ project was created and funded by the ASOS Foundation. ‘Pipeline’ sits within our ASOS Corporate Responsibility programme ‘Fashion With Integrity’. The aim of this programme is to ‘open doors and remove barriers – helping young people achieve their potential’.
Says Christine of the collaboration,
Having been an admirer of ASOS for years it has been such an exciting opportunity to partner with the brand on this project. The fact that we are collaborating on a collection which is produced in Africa, a concept very dear to my heart fills me with a lot of pride.
Check out the ASOS Africa x Chichia collection here. #whomademyclothes