Made to Measure African Print Clothing for Men and Women
When Sian Masawe, Kitenge’s founder, launched her social enterprise and ethical clothing brand in 2014, she had a clear mission – that one day the expression ethical fashion and fair trade would become unnecessary, even obsolete.
Working in London and New York’s fashion industry showed Sian the extent that unethical practices were having a negative impact on workers’ lives in the Far East. Dismayed but motivated, Sian set out to turn-around the lives of people she met after volunteering in Tanzania, East Africa.
“The people who make our clothes should be paid fairly, treated with respect and dignity and work in a safe environment. We should all be able to find out who makes our clothes. I believe the care label showing the country of origin is not enough.”
Whilst immersed in Tanzania’s rich culture and values, Sian explored the busy local markets and fell in love with the vivid, African wax print fabrics called ‘Kitenge’ (ki-ten-gi) in Swahili. She soon realised that by investing in local industries and building on their expertise, she could develop a range of stylish prints and designs at the same time as helping businesses, communities and families to support themselves.
Support Kitenge on its journey to empower Tanzanian tailors to improve their livelihoods and support their fine craftsmanship. And follow Sian on her ultimate mission to open a tailoring school and business hub for young people in Tanzania.