Monday, September 25, 2023

Upcycled African fashion on a Volcanic archipelago

Mia launched her ethical fashion brand MIA By Mia Nisbet in 2008 intending to create and produce her up-cycled fashion lines in Africa. Mia creates high-end fashion clothes that combine recycled fabrics with traditional African textiles.

MIA established its fashion line by producing in Malawi and selling international collections in Los Angeles, Japan, and London.

In recent years, MAI has withdrawn from the production of her labels to raise her son and has focused on providing workshops and educational aspects of up-cycling and textiles.

MIA is preparing to start production of her collections, so as recently visited Cape Verde to examine the possibility of obtaining and producing collections there. MIA spent several weeks researching African textiles and working with some local tailors to produce a small series of African fabric jackets with a limited accessory that is now available on the ASOS market.

the photo below – tailoring shop: Happiness, Santa Maria, Cape Verde

fashionbymia4MIA was in Santa Maria, Cape Verde, which is the most touristic island. Cape Verde or Cabo Verde is located in the Atlantic Ocean in a volcanic archipelago off the west coast of Africa. Located near Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania, part of Macaronesia is known for its Luso-African Creole culture, its traditional Morna music, and its many beaches. It consists of an island like Santiago, which hails its capital town, Praia.

“MIA by Mia Nisbet” is an up-cycled clothing label with a social and environmental conscience. The brand is committed to fighting the negative effects of the rapidly changing fashion market. As a basis for the collections, Mia obtains second-hand fabrics and then combines these recycled materials with traditional African textiles to create collections that combine the richness of African textiles with the Western-style. The concept of design is an ethical fashion that unites cultures, is sustainable and portable.

The inspiration for these collections came from the time that Mia spent in Africa, especially in Malawi. In Malawi’s street markets, local retailers sell large quantities of used clothing imported from the United States. USA, Europe, and other places, mainly donations. MIA observed citizens of Malawi mixing imported clothing with their traditional clothing and African textiles. From this observation, she developed remarkable achievements based on the fusion of tradition and modernity.

MIA will return to Cape Verde in February to continue her research and by may will also visit Mindelo, one of the less touristy islands where she believes that fabric and work will likely be more affordable and a victory for both.

fashionbymia2Photography credit: Adilson Ramos Photography

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