10 Aug 2018

Eco Designer's New Collection Inspired By Ghanaian Water Carriers Featured

Toronto based fashion designer Asia Clarke has made hundreds of jewelry pieces over the years, many of which have been featured in music videos, magazines and photo shoots.

She's always had an enviromentally conscious twist to her designs but she recently took her Wild Moon brand to another level. "The United Nations Association in Canada has a program for businesses that are specifically trying to “green-wash” themselves. I was happy to get into that program, so now my business is partnered with the U.N. Association in Canada Green Corps program, around ethical and sustainable fashion," she told Sophomore magazine.

Now Asia Clarke has released a new collection called 'Yes Pure' that is also partnered with two women focused foundations in Accra. ByBlacks spoke with Asia about the new collection by email.

Why did you decide to make your jewelry out of recycled materials? And how does this choice impact your business? 

Each year that passes by, I become more and more aware of how the consumer culture and fashion industry has a part to play in the degradation of the planet. I wanted to create a collection that brings attention to the issue of over-consumption, while answering the human need of personal expression and creativity. The Kokrobitey Collection is a collaboration between Wild Moon Jewelry and the Kokrobitey Institute in Accra, Ghana, that uses primarily recycled materials such as electrical wire, cow horn, washers, pipes, and recycled glass. We chose to use these materials because they were bountiful and being under used, and it aligns with my goal of creating eco-conscious jewelry designs / cultural artifacts that uphold a respect for Mother Earth.

Photo credit: Anthony Gebrehiwot

You also do jewelry making workshops for youth focused on reducing consumer waste. What have you learned from working with young people?

I think the most important lesson I learned working with youth is that there needs to be a consciousness of the responsibility we all have to leave this world better than we met it. Also, using consumer "waste" and making it into something beautiful is a great life lesson for youth - sometimes the diamond is in the rough. Sometimes we have to use unconventional materials and means and use innovative creation in order to make beautiful things. 

How do you feel when you read about companies like HnM and Burberry burning unsold clothes?

I feel really turned off and disappointed when I read that. The clothing industry is already such a pollutant-heavy industry (from non-bio diverse cotton fields, to the toxic dyeing process, to the inexpensive labourers in factories in developing countries and so on)... Then the over-priced clothes don't sell, and so they then burn it, releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere?

Its tough because on one hand, you could say "So many people in the world don't have clothes," but in reality, the used clothing industry sends tonnes and tonnes of used second hand clothes to places in the global south. The influx of these cheap clothes into these economies kills the local textile industries, which negatively affects the passing down of intergenerational knowledge and art in unique communities. So I am not really for H&M and Burberry sending these unsold clothes to places for a "social cause" either. I think the whole consumer culture infinity loop needs a reality check - we live on a finite planet that we need to respect and reserve for future generations. Personally, I try to buy what I want from as many local artists as possible, and only buy what I really need.

Photo credit: Anthony Gebrehiwot

Tell us about the inspiration for this new collection 'Yes Pure'.

Wild Moon Jewelry's 2018 YES PURE collection is inspired by the women that I observed carrying water in Ghana. Big bowls of pure water sachets balanced delicately on their heads, providing sustenance to people with effortless grace. They call out “yes pure” to let you know they are coming. I thought the vision of women carrying water to be a great symbol for this collection, as all capsules were worked on by women in Ghana who exhibited effortless grace in their craft. This collection features original jewelry design works of art, with design collaborations with the Obrapa Women’s Group and the Kokrobitey Institute in Accra, Ghana. 

Where can people find your pieces?

The YES PURE complete collection is available at www.wildmoonjewelry.com, and select pieces are available at our stockist in Accra, Ghana at The Shop Accra.

Photo credit: Anthony Gebrehiwot

Read 1854 times Last modified on Saturday, 11 August 2018 09:44
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