Yaws Fashion Corner: Sustainable Fashion Show

I am filled with so much honor for volunteering to do this noble work for My Gambia Magazine where I will be featuring a lot of Gambian and African fashion, designers and fashion events. This is pretty special to me as it marks another beginning of a new Chapter/Era wherein our drive is to scale up the fashion industry along as we move to next chapter.

I smile as I write this, because it is taking me back thirteen years ago when I started my brand YAWS, where we do fashion and styling for men and women, interior décor, stage and background setups and events with the focus on using African and handmade materials. The thing I used to say when interviewed about the Gambian Fashion industry then was, that Yaws is here to make the changes, that our drive was to boost up the Fashion. And Voila, it has been a rollercoaster since then as we are challenged with so many along the way due to the lack of infrastructure and institutions needed to help us be where we need to be. But hey, that’s not an excuse! Yet still we are grateful for the fact that we have been a mainstay and that we are doing our quota as to keep this industry alive and bubbly as it should be.

On that note, check this out! Our first edition will feature an event called Sustainable fashion show that was organized by the two youngsters in the modelling field.

SUSTAINABLE FASHION SHOW

I think this topic is such a BIG THING for the global fashion industry now and all players are looking out for solutions to tackle this problem.

Great show it was, first of its kind here. It was held at Yosh Restaurant in Bakau where they hosted ten local designers and fashion boutique owners and also designers and models from Senegal. The DJ was off the hook, beats still running in my mind. Bigup for you, Serign, if you are reading this! Of course, everyone was dressed to impress.

“The Fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the environment, because of the growing in the textile industry (fast fashion). Our role is to recreate, recycle and up cycle to solve these problems!” Hussain, the male partner of this event said. “Our interest is in recognition and response to the major challenges facing the world such as climate change, species extinction, pollution, poverty and inequality. This realization provides us with a unique and exciting opportunity to rethink, redesign and rebuild a positive future through fashion. Due to the burning of discarded clothes becoming a daily occurrence and causing pollution, our resolve is to come up with innovative ways to play our quota through sustainable fashion and mitigating the environment and climate crisis,” Medina the female partner shares.

 As a fashion designer, I feel this is a great initiative that I can be associated with due to the injustice the world is faced with because of our negligence attitude. If I may say; the treatment we give to the mother nature is NOT FAIR and that we need to change towards a positive development in order to nurture organically for our unborn future. The influx of importation of second-hand clothing coming into this small Gambia with so much pollution could be noted as the number one reason why I loved the idea from the second I heard about this event.

At the event, I was touched by Secka unique Glamour whom took me by surprise because she is someone that is pretty new and has probably been in the game for about two years now. Her collection was “sustainable”. She used the indigo, locally made print mixed with denim and presented a casual/street wear collection. Watching her growth in here is pretty neat too as she is very active and eager to go places. I managed to pull her out to have a quick interview about her work and this was what she told me: “Secka Unique Glamour was established in 2018. We specialize in modern designs made from Serri Rabal fabric. Inspired by my father, who was a weaver from a family of weavers in different generations that came before him.” Isatou is working on reviving and developing the craft, her products are aimed to suit all genders and ages, with her best-selling items which comprises of school bags, rug sacks and accessories. 

Other Gambian designers that presented were Saacs designs, Funneh Funneh and from Senegal were Service Al-Makhtoum, AFD Made in Senegal fabric; this one made me go wow with the fabulous designs of his accessories, Adama Bittaye, Lou event; this designer reminds of our Medoune with a dope streetwear/bohemian style collection. From Nigeria they had SND designs who had the only collection with traditional style and all men, so his presentation stood out.

Okaaaaaay even though am a bit disappointed with the fact that not everything showcased was sustainable, but hey, it’s their first year, so let give them a chance. Rome wasn’t built at one given chance.

Happy New Year to YOU and YOURS, may this New Year be filled with Bliss.

Peace and Love.

About Author

YAwa Conateh

Fashion Designer and founder of Yawscreations
Born out of frustration to go and do her B.A. and Masters In fashion as she has a Diploma in Fashion and decor from Leeds College of Art and Design. So after she realized she wasn’t going back to England again, she started sketching and wearing her designs then family and friends and even strangers would compliment her and so that’s how it all started back in 2007.
Yes, 13 years ago!
Yawscreations is a now multifaceted business doing Fashion for men and women. Events promoting the Gambian art and culture and also coordinating private events for clients. They also do interior decorations and stage setups. Check social media using @Yawscreations
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