At Lilabare, we strive to produce quality clothing ensuring materials used are compatible with both the environment and your health. We source for natural materials that are both comfortable to wear and long lasting so they can transcend generations. Our primary sources of material are mainly from small scale artisans that weave natural fibres, while actively supporting traditional handcraft and recycling of “off cuts” which many may consider waste material.
COMPOSITION & ORIGINS
Our journey to finding the best ecofriendly materials with a story have taken us across East Africa & India so far. All our fibres are natural and compostable.
Handcraft is a core component of Lilabare. Each design contains history, culture, context and meaning embedded in every inch. It is a slow & long journey, that is only enriching. The way we see it, there is no value in mass produced & pollutant fashion items. Ultimately, craft is a valuable piece of human creation that should be celebrated and rewarded. We believe that the value of a fashion piece is the story & heritage behind it. Thus, we make products that last and can be passed down through generations as heirlooms, making it more sustainable and better value for money than low cost, cheap designed mass produced textiles.
Our previous collection included Africa's first scaled natural dyed fashion range, using local & indigenous plants. This type of dyeing is environmentally friendly and maximises the potential of what most consider as waste. This approach was done in collaboration with Refushe, a group of women refugees turned artisans. This led to the creation of the first scaled plant-dyeing project in East Africa. You can read more about the project here.
In our current collection, Kupona, we use local indigenous plant remains to hand dye 20% of the pieces.
We are also exploring traditional printing processes such as batik, bandhani, shibori dyeing. The Kupona Collection celebrates hand block printing; a process of using wood carved blocks to make a repeat pattern. These processes are all time intensive, but well worth it. This is also why our printed pieces are small-batch production based.
All the trims & details that are made from natural materials; coconut shells, handmade brass beads, which is often recycled from scrap metals. We make best use of local materials given they are in abundance in Kenya and the rest of Africa. We source these materials from our networks in African markets across the continent as well as from artisans who specialize in brass making. These little details can be found on each Lilabare garment as a signature homage to African art.