A project by IGC Fashion in collaboration with An Smid
Clothes: IGC Fashion (Katende Godfrey & Kasoma Ibrahim)
Photographer: An Smid
Models: Ronnie Senkayi, Kasoma Ibrahim, Faith Momo, Matovu Given
The concept of this project is derived from IGC’s own philosophical beliefs and values. In their work, the people from IGC take a stand against what they call ‘fast fashion’; the rapid and unsustainable production and consumption of clothes- a trend that increasingly seems to shape modern fashion industries all over the world. As Ibrahim, designer at IGC Fashion explained, cheap clothing bought at stores such as H&M or Zara are worn only a few times before they get thrown away and end up being dumped in places such as Uganda. Here, these clothes get sorted and sold to the public. However, a large selection of these clothes end up on huge landfills, bringing toxic pollution to the air and furthering the cause of Earth’s decay. It is just another example how unsustainable consumption patterns in the West end up bringing most damage to the Global South. In their observation of such trends, IGC fashion intervenes at the stage of recycling. Instead of throwing away the fabrics that were deemed unfit for secondary sales; they rework these “mistaken fabrics” into their designs and such, do they not only create unique shapes and pieces of clothing but also limit the amount of fabric ending up on dumpsites.
Design: The clothes designed by IGC fashion all share similar features that make them stand out from ordinary fashion trends. Besides the fabrics redeemed from waste, pieces of local fabrics like kitenge and bark cloth get worked into the designs. The shapes of the clothes are derived from Ugandan culture; symbols of arrows, shields, ancient architecture and traditional homestead items like “ndeku (gourd)” are reworked into the designs. Another feature that these designs share is something that could be described as rough tailoring. The end products do not conceal the production process; it is clear that the clothes are made out of different pieces of fabric composed together; like a collage. Finally, the IGC designs all hold somewhat of a futuristic energy, or a self-described post apocalyptic vibe. The jumpsuits and jackets seem to come from another world- or era- one which perhaps is cold, toxic and, where clothes need to provide full protection against a polluted earth. The designs might invoke an imaginary, yet very real scenario of a world we will have to live in if we continue these unsustainable habits.