The 15th of November saw the debut of one of Uganda's home grown talents, North-London based international sustainable fashion designer José Hendo on Kampala's biggest event: Kampala Fashion Week.
Hendo took the audience on her creative journey by showcasing four of her collections. Opening her section of the evening with Resonance, Contact Deep, Infinity and culminating in her current collections SS15 Spontaneous.
The multiple awards-winning designer has presented to the Queen in her home country Uganda. Her collections have been showcased at Fashion Weeks in London, Berlin and New York with raving reviews. Now she seems to take Kampala by storm as visitors gasps and clapped with the emergence of each design.
The labels director José Hendo says: " I am excited to have been invited to show my work in my home country. My family and particularly my parents are still living here. My work is inspired by my country, its nature and beauty but also intricately infused with and informed by its history. It was important to be art of the first Kampala Fashion Week for so many reasons. Apart from being my home what is exciting is that it will grow to one of the most important events on the calendar. It has the potential to be a major boost to Kampala's economy. Looking at Fashion weeks in London and New York where around $700,000,000.- is seen in revenue for business and services during that time in that area. We have some of the best resources and talent right here why not make it work? I have come back to share my knowledge and I hope to set up workshops here to skill up and empower people here. "
This is the fist of a series of events in Kampala for Jose Hendo. She will be holding her next event in collaboration with Serendip.Concept. 'Bark 2 The Roots' will take place on the 20th of November from 1:30pm to 6.00pm together with a collective of fellow Ugandan Artists at the Ugandan Museum. It will focus extensively on her work within Uganda's Unesco-certified material barkcloth. The idea and concept were initially conceived 18 months ago with dear friends journalist, activist and BAGCI-founder Winnie Sseruma, who will be one of the facilitators.
Hendo's stay ends with an intimate breakfast roundtable at La Patisserie where she discusses her R3 – campaign and the ethics on which her sustainable business is built: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
José Hendo has started the Reduce Reuse Recycle campaign during London Fashion Week 2014 to raise awareness about how we can make a difference on the environment through the choices we make.
Internationally known for her prolific and cutting edge barkcloth collection "Resonance", Hendo promotes the use of eco textiles for example organic and recycled materials. The label supports ethical trading, and raising awareness about the environmental issues affected by the fashion industry, making a positive contribution to society. This is further demonstrated via José Hendo's apprenticeships, work experience and free workshops as a way of giving back to the community, simultaneously creating awareness of sustainable fashion. José Hendo has been invited and featured as speaker at TEDxEuston, is a member of Fellowship 500, Ethical Fashion Forum & Centre of Sustainable Fashion and as such recognised as an expert on sustainable fashion and the barkcloth. Furthermore each sale made also sees a percentage given to charity.
"My dream is to make bark cloth work alongside mainstream fabrics. Bark Cloth is a centuries old technique that is recognised by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. As the oldest man made fabric it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Material in 2005. As it is produced in my country Uganda it has a personal as well as cultural reverence to me and my ancestry which I am honouring in my work."
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