Front Row

New York Fashion Week FW21 – Studio 189 is a Steady Voice in the Realm of Sustainability

Sustainability in fashion is often a promise that is yet to be kept. Still, there are strong voices in the market who try to apply eco-friendly and ethical practices in their manufacturing, logistics, and operations. Studio 189 is one of them. The brand participated in the NYFW digitally with a FW21 collection that celebrates artisanal traditions. Signature bright collars in line with African heritage, beautifully clashing prints, and comfy silhouettes come into play. Color brings smiles, and we need these during hard pandemic times!

Studio One Eighty Nine, co-founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, is an artisan-produced fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise that has recently won the prestigious CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability. The brand is made in Africa and produces African and African-inspired content and clothing. The brand currently operates a store in Accra (Ghana), an eCommerce site, a manufacturing facility in Accra, and supports various community-led projects in Africa and the USA. Studio 189 works with artisanal communities specializing in various traditional craftsmanship techniques, such as hand-batik, hand-weaving, patchworking, natural indigo dyeing, basket weaving, recycled cotton, and upcycled denim from second-hand clothing sent to Ghana that we buy in the local Ghanaian market. It focuses on empowerment, creating jobs, and supporting education and skills training and partners with organizations such as the United Nations ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative, NYU Stern School of Business, and collaborated with brands including Lexus. EDUN (LVMH), Fendi, Nike, Opening Ceremony, The Surf Lodge, Okay Africa, and Yoox Net a Porter.

The collection, entitled Legacy, is inspired by traditional patterns, symbols, and techniques interwoven into cloth that communicates our values, history, and message to future generations. The Fall 2021 collection was designed with sustainability and building products meant to last in mind using zero-waste materials.

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