In Print

Inspired by the print and colour of London’s African Fashion Weekend, we’ve collected together our favourite patterned picks from high end to high street to add a little colour to SS12.

Who better to start than ASOS Africa? For SS12 traditional kitenge prints are rescaled, re-coloured and given fluorescent highlights to give a modern edge to the traditional. Bold stripes in loose cotton twill have a hand-woven effect while crop tops and micro-shorts create bikini sets printed with miniature rhinos. An equally vibrant palette sees acid lime, turquoise and lilac jostle playfully against black and white.  The best bit? It’s produced in collaboration with SOKO Kenya, an organisation that allows underprivileged communities to establish sustainable business through local craftsmanship.

Geo Printed Knicker Shorts: £25, Stripe Jacket: £45, Organza Skirt, £40

SOKO Kenya is a clothing production workshop for the export market that aims to create sustainable, fair employment and offer training and skills to some of Kenya’s poorest people. SOKO aims to create a sustainable and creative long term solution to Kenya’s economic crisis by promoting community driven, ethical and environmentally aware trade in fashion.

Sheer Pencil Skirt w/ Printed Peplum: £40, Tunic in Mombasa Print: £40, Pencil Skirt in Block Print: £40

As part of PPR Group, Gucci is included in the corporate social responsibility programme that involves reducing greenhouse gases, water usage, waste and the use of toxic chemicals. In 2010 Gucci released new packaging, available in all of its 284 stores around the world, made of FSC certified paper. 

Muzungu Sisters’ first designer collaboration in aid of a humanitarian organisation fuses traditional Italian craftsmanship by Milanese shoe designer Cecilia Bringheli’s CB Made in Italy, with fabric that would have otherwise gone to waste kindly donated by Missoni and upcycled for the project. Muzungu Sisters will be donating 10% of the sales of each shoe to the Small Steps Project. Small Steps Project is a volunteer-based humanitarian organization and registered charity borne out of a desire to provide shoes for children forced to live on municipal rubbish dumps around the world, protecting children from injury and enabling them to take small steps out of poverty.

Marc Jacobs is part of LVMH group, who have measures in place to minimise water and energy usage and the emission of greenhouse gases. LVMH group also implements every resource to facilitate the recovery of its wastes. The employees in all Group companies have received special training, and each work station on their production sites is equipped with selective sorting containers.

Gucci, Floral Print Silk-Crepe Shirt, £720

Missoni x Muzungu Sisters, Woven Slippers, £330

Marc Jacobs, Metallic Paisley Skirt, £780

Swedish brand Acne have had an affiliation with The Fair Wear Foundation since 2008.In this time the company has focused on performing their own internal audits at their supplies, covering 60% of supplier base so far. Several have been repeatedly visited and there have been notable improvements at factory level.

H&M are committed to transparent reporting on their CSR performance, and have made gains across their business in terms of minimising waste, emissions and taking care of those in their supply chain- from field to store. H&M is the no. 1 user of organic cotton worldwide. They aim for all cotton in their range to come from more sustainable sources by 2020 at the latest.

Heidi Mottram was one of the first designers in the UK to design accessories with eel skin and Poulard leather. She is considered by many to be a guru for the use of the skins. Each season she works with the eel skin and other sustainable eco leathers such as salmon skin and poulard leather to create different textures and designs.  As an ethical brand she was elected to be a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum Fellowship 500.

Acne, Mallory Tuning Print Dress, £310

H&M, Geometric Print Trousers, £12.99

Heidi Mottram, Arora Eel Skin Stripe Clutch, £235

Caroline Freestone

Caroline is an English graduate from Bristol University, with experience in fashion and beauty journalism for a number of on and offline publications. With previous work experience in events and PR she is currently the Web & Social Media Editor for Positive Luxury.