Jose House of Creations using fashion to rid Kampala of harmful waste
In Kampala, second hand clothes are common in markets, shops and on the streets. They are also widely worn due to their affordability and availability. This in turn has resulted in dumping of second hand clothes into the country.
According to a research report by CUSJC, dumping started during the Tanzania-Uganda war in the 1970’s which disrupted industrial production for domestic and international markets. This meant second hand clothing was imported by international aid agencies to provide local people with clothing. Eventually, after these economies were able to recover, the clothes were no longer imported as a form of charity.
Instead, they have become a for-profit business and imports have been steadily increasing. This is one of the reasons local Uganda clothing industries have been lagging behind in the textile and apparel sector.
Josephine Nakafeero, the founder of Jose House of Creations believes that second hand clothes dumping is a major contribution to pollution and climate change, which is a global concern that requires each one of us to respond and be a key player. This was the inspiration behind Jose House of Creations.
Jose House of Creations is a creative sustainable fashion brand, upcycling and cubbing down on plastic and fabric pollution by taking used items and turning them into new attractive apparel.
“There are millions of clothes dumped in Africa and yet there are also new clothes manufactured every single day. Most of these are usually dumped after use which affects the environment. Therefore, we take it upon ourselves to upcycle and redesign new products that are eco-friendly and in a way add value to the used products, increasing their lifespan,” Nakafeero says.
“We have a range of unique and stylish products with our innovations and level of creativity making us stand out. We are advocates for the environment through our products which are eco-friendly in all ways,” she adds.
After working in media for a long time as TV host of a fashion and style show on NBS TV, Josephine Nakafeero thought she was ready to contribute directly to an industry she’s so passionate about. This resulted in the fully-fledged design house Jose House of Creations. The fashion line is focused on creating unique African inspired accessories such as pocket squares, necklaces, bags, hats and more. The line goes further to include structured jackets, shoes and ready to wear clothing. Nakafeero says that she is inspired by people and nature at large.
“At first it was not easy convicing Ugandans that they can consume such upcycled products,” she says.
Being a creative designer, Nakafeero had to come up with innovative, attractive ideas to give a wow factor to clients that buy them.
“Given that our products are unique, they attract clients to buy and this in a way contributes to sustainability in fashion and design. Because women love beautiful things, they are our most supportive customers,” Nakafeero says.
Jose House of Creations currently employs twelve women, acting to empower them by equipping them with development and life skills. This is one of their core values.
“As a growing brand, we work tirelessly to ensure that we empower women and girls with life skills for self reliance and independence,” Nakafeero adds.