Nomi Network Fashion Corner: Summer Trend Report: Prints & Ethical Fashion

Prints are everywhere this spring and summer! From bright floral designs to tribal patterns, prints are this season’s most popular look. Ethical fashion is on top of this trend.  Many innovative, contemporary designers use prints from local artisans and Fair Trade cooperatives in places such as Asia, Africa, and South America. Designers value both the quality of the traditional prints as well as supporting ethical fashion initiatives around the world. Here are some new ethical fashion lines that boast beautiful prints:

Inspired by the unique design aesthetics of Kenyan clothing and the raw talent of Kenyan locals, designers Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusser formed Lalesso. The line is bursting with gorgeous prints and carefree silhouettes. The business pays workers a fair wage to help improve the standard of living while harnessing the talent of local artisans and supporting them in their design initiatives. Lalesso produces quality garments by upholding fair trade practices and realizing the potential of local talent.

Choolips, another fantastic ethical fashion company based in London, works with local artisans in Kenya, Ghana and India. Choolips is committed to Fair Trade, local production as well as minimizing the brand’s water and carbon footprints. In Ghana, Choolips introduced new technology and trend-led designs to sustain the ancient Batik technique. The collection ‘Golden Coast’ features talent from local Ghanian batikers and Kenyan seamstresses and tailors. The newest collection ‘Planet India’ is entirely made by hand using hand-woven khadi fabrics. The ‘Golden Coast’ scarves feature traditional prints in bright, bold colors. They are perfect for summer!

Afia, a sustainable women’s line, creatively mixes traditional textiles of West Africa with American trends to create an “urban indigenous” aesthetic. Designer Meghan Sebold believes in true sustainability by creating prosperity for all involved. Afia works directly with sewing cooperatives in Ghana who create pieces that are fresh and fun. The summer ’12 collection includes bright floral printed skirts, neon tribal prints, and vibrant maxi dresses. 

If you’re looking for fun, bold prints for summer, these ethical fashion lines offer unique, beautifully crafted prints that transcend trends.

- Sachiko Pettit


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