For the new SS22 collection we returned to Kenya in mid-January 2022. We landed in Nairobi and drove four hours north with our favorite driver Charles. We stayed in a small hut near Mount Kenya, which is only 10 minutes away from our tailoring collective. We were greeted by Chelena, the head of the collective, who started her business at the same time as we started our brand. We often exchange business tips and advice between us; it's exciting to grow together with her.
It was great to see Rony again. Our former “boda boda” driver (which is a kind of a motorcycle taxi). As some of you know, Rony kept asking us for work last year and after a while we decided to train him in fabric cutting and packaging. Since then Rony has been an important member of EMEKA.
We went straight to work, Rony took us to the market, where we met Mama Emmanuel, our favorite second hand seller. She provided us with second-hand fabrics such as curtains and sheets. She keeps telling us how grateful she is to have us as customers, as she can send her son Emmanuel to school thanks to our project.
Back at the tailors collective, we prepared the fabrics, the patterns, chalked them out, sharpened our scissors and started cutting. It's striking how much work goes into each piece and how many hands are involved in the process:
After Rony has cut the fabrics, Joy assembles the pieces, then Ann does the details such as buttons and zips, and finally Chelena does the quality control and checks that everything is in place.
It took 6 weeks to create the 20 unique & handmade pieces for our SS22 collection.
For this collection we decided to show who was behind the clothes, by creating labels where the tailors sign their names on, in order to show the impact they had on the creation of each piece.
We ended this adventure by filling our two suitcases with our new collection and reminiscing about the beautiful memories and friendships we’ve developed with our team during this time.
We are already looking forward to our next trip to Kenya.