With giants like Starbucks and KFC eliminating plastic straws in stores in Singapore, we’re watching as the world takes its baby steps towards environmental sustainability and reducing waste globally. Now shifting our lens to another movement that is taking its shape slowly but meaningfully in the fashion industry. A wave they call: the ethical and environmentally friendly fashion.
What is ethical fashion?
Ever wondered what goes behind the scenes in the production of your favourite dress or handbag? On the flip-side to the trendy fast fashion we are accustomed to, eco-friendly and ethical fashion brands are committed to long-term sustainability, making use of organic materials and sustainable manufacturing processes that aim to reduce waste.
Beyond that, ethical fashion is also about human and animal rights. It is about fair treatment and respect for the people employed to create the very fashion you wear.
“Because after all, we are what we choose to wear.”
When fashion designer Sun-young from Korea first saw young girls working under harsh environments in overseas production factories, she was determined to find a way to help them. What started out as a short-term volunteer project turned into a new passion and the launch of a new brand — Sērigraphie.
Inspired by serigraphy—a printing technique also known as silk screening or screen printing, Sērigraphie brings to life a harmony of exotic beauty found in foreign lands and ordinary urban life. Eye-catching patterned bags that are not only beautiful, but also sustainably and ethically produced in Senegal—a country rich in French colonial heritage located in West Africa.
More than anything, it’s the beliefs and missions behind the brand that caught our eye. In bringing the vibrancy and style of Senegal to the world, Sērigraphie is playing its part in making the world a more equitable place by encouraging the consumption of sustainably and ethically produced products.
Welcome to Senegal
Many of the world has yet to see the beauty of Senegal. It is where elegance meets chaos. A country full of vibrant colours, mighty rivers, golden coastline and sandy plains.
In line with its mission to support the economically-disadvantaged, all of Sērigraphie’s collections are produced locally by locals in Senegal. With new jobs, these locals can now have a regular source of income that hopefully helps to improve their standard of daily living.
From Senegal to the world
One of Sērigraphie’s missions is to draw attention to the prevalence of underpaid labour in the fashion industry, especially in less developed countries where cheap labour is often exploited to reduce production costs.
In encouraging fair trade, Sērigraphie ensures that the locals they work with are paid a fair wage and also by recognising, promoting and protecting the cultural identity and traditional skills of these traditional craftsmen in the work they do.
Apart from simply providing jobs, the team behind Sērigraphie also makes overseas visits to Senegal to advocate and educate self-empowerment among the locals. Earlier this year, Sērigraphie raised funding through the sale of its bags to support the purchase of new sewing machines for locals to be more efficient in their work.
Look good, do good and feel good with folk inspirations
You can find the beauty of African culture through the uniquely-patterned fabrics and thoughtfully-detailed designs used in Sērigraphie’s collections. Bags are handcrafted using durable high-quality fabric locally sourced from Senegal, and are printed with colourful designs inspired by African traditional costumes. A wonderful harmonious combination of modernism and folk inspirations.
Demand quality, not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.
– Orsola De Castro
Drawstring Shoulder Tote
An adjustable drawstring shoulder tote bag with 3 interior pockets. Available in 3 striking colours.
Drawstring Wristlet Pouch
An adjustable drawstring pouch with snap buttons to close. Available in 3 beautiful patterns.
Mini Zip Top Clutch
A mini zip top clutch available in 3 unique colours: Lime, Blue Bird and Yellow.