The ethical collection by Adeysapphire Design Limited who owns online shop adeysapphire.com is coming along great! We cannot start showing images of the pieces yet! But here’s a tip. It’s got prints by the designer, Adey Thani in exciting colours, we have also used natural dyes in the collection. And of course, we have used ethically sourced fabrics!!! We have also introduced reclaimed materials! Now, that’s what we’re talking about!!! Just stay tuned, we’re half way there and just as excited as you are….Did we mention that its the story of emotional pain and turning that pain into something positive? Ah! Ha! I bet you didn’t see that coming!!! Just stay tuned for the launch of Adeysapphire Ethical Fashion Range SS/2016 as we turn green fashion into the new black and making a difference in the lives of people in disadvantaged communities at the same time.

Background story behind the collection narrated by Adey Thani.

I have come a long way from being a heartbroken wreck when my boyfriend dumped me seven years ago. For those who don’t understand numerology, our lives are run in a seven year cycle. At the end of each cycle, there is a reawakening and the begining of a new cycle. This is according to the Vedic Treaties of the Chakravidya a Hindi philosophy. “……our life moves in 7 year cycles corresponding with each of the 7 chakra centers located in our light body. We have one dominant chakra for each cycle, ……. In the first 7 years of life (age 1-7) we are influenced by the root chakra, from ages 8-14; the sacral chakra, from 15-21; the solar plexus….”. The Yoruba folklore in Western Nigeria, ‘Elemi  meje’  means seven lives, which also references the seven year cycle. This is the end of my own seven year cycle and in that time, I have turned what was deemed a ‘terrible’ thing to happen into something very positive and fun. Some people would say, ‘yeah, and so?’ Well, the reason why this is so important is that it started a catalog of events that led to who I am today, a designer. I owe it to my ‘ex’ for dumping me and literally giving me a kick up the ‘butt’ to come out of complacency, get my act together and start pursuing my ambitions. It was my first heartbreak ever! The pain was intense and very profound. As I licked my wounds, and went back to work after two weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I decided I was going to finish my studies and do what I really want to do – be creative – but first, I had to get my equilibrium back. This ‘thing’ really uprooted me right from the centre and I needed to mend, learn from the experience and move on. Nothing to help me better than joining the gym. Oh, did I get in shape propelled by my anger and pain! I got my groove back and came out from the depths of despair and depression. I started loving myself and accepting myself for who I really am and it showed! The wolf whistles from the builders in the street, the looks of admiration and tonnes of compliments from people who I hardly knew that approached me to ask who I was, (one swore he’d seen me on telly). Several times I got chatted up both by males and females in the street and many more online. I loved the very positive response to this new me that emerged from under wraps. Even if it sounds superficial, it is still very relevant and valid as this was the catalyst to my positive transformation. My new confidence in creating and playing with looks.  My favourite look is the one that blurs the lines between the genders. I believe one can be whoever one wants to be and just have fun with fashion rather than a life or death approach that many people attach to it. All these helped my self-esteem to no bound. The most important thing in the recovery process was the new found power that I had to say; “no and get lost!”  “I call the shots on this show from now on! If you don’t like it, well, that’s the door!!!” I felt like an exotic bird that had been in captivity and just been released to break free and do amazing things. The next part of my recovery was to boost my confidence and acquire the skills that I would need to do the creative things that I have always wanted to do. I enrolled at University and got two degrees whilst also discovering that I was empathetic about issues that concerned the environment and now believe that designers have the power to change the consumption choices of the consumer so that they make more ethical choices when buying products.

Another major blow!

While, I was travelling on this journey, my flat was gutted in a fire one week to Christmas. That was a second big blow! Again, I went into depression. Everything I ever worked for gone up in smoke! But hey! I’m a fighter! I didn’t let that deter me from achieving my goals of finishing my first degree. And I saw it as a symbol that truly marked the end of an era and the rebirth of a new one. Of course, I went through all the emotions and the rhetorical question of ‘why me?’ But like the proverbial phoenix, I have risen from the ashes. Today, I’m settled in a happy loving relationship with a lovely guy and my life has bounced back in a big way. The lesson here is that when all you love birds out there find yourself in any of these situations, there is always a silver lining, but you have to do your own bit too. Manna doesn’t fall from heaven! You have to work for it! Be willing to get better and move on. Don’t sit around moping and feeling sorry for yourself, because if you do, then you do yourself no favours, you are making yourself into a victim and letting him or her win! If you tell yourself you are a winner, and believe it, then you will always triumph.

Why I wanted to be a designer when I grew up.

I decided I wanted to be a designer that does not exploit workers, or use toxic materials and chemicals that impact greatly on the environment. It was also my mission to research and use textiles I have created from reclaimed materials as well as those from other cultures around the globe where the crafts are getting extinct due to the high demand for industrially and chemically processed textiles, that also impact so much on the environment as a result of the colossal use of energy and the discharge of chemical waste into the environment. This supply of cheap chemically processed industrial textiles has led to the fall in demand for handcrafted textiles made by the small and medium scale cottage industries in developing economies. But is it really cheap when it is coming at a cost to cottage industries that these communities have thrived on for centuries? After the euphoria of the industrial age, I think we are starting to see that it is not sustainable to carry on in the way that we have been doing. The craftsmen and women who weave fabrics  for our bags and clothing that are starting to be introduced in fashion, also deserve to be recognized  for their beautiful craft and be rewarded in accordance by paying them a fair price. When every designer starts to follow suit, it will be reflected in the lives of the community with an improved standard of living. They can afford medical treatments and pay for education and come out of poverty. If the industry is made attractive by the rise in demand, the younger generation will also take an interest and learn the trade which will also save it from extinction.

How we can save wildlife from extinction.

Furthermore, this doesn’t just apply to the textile trade in developing economies, I think there is some lesson to be learned here by the international community  and environmentalists who are trying to eradicate the poaching of wildlife and bring it back from the brink of extinction. Prince Harry and Prince William along with some other public figures have decried the the killing of elephants, rhinos and other wildlife for their ivory tusks and  fur which the press informs us find their way to Asia to be used in medicine and jewelry, and the fur still trickles down to Europe in the fashion chain despite the fact that it has been made illegal to deal in animal , and unfashionable to be seen in animal fur.  I hate to break the news here, but for as long as there continues to be a demand for these animal parts as a fashion consumable, and the poor, ignorant and impoverished tribesman who has no other means of supporting himself and his family continues to struggle to survive, then we are going to continue to see more wildlife killed for commercial gain until that targeted specie becomes extinct! So, instead of all the hue and cry which is not very effective, I would suggest that the tribesmen, who don’t know any better, should be rehabilitated and found new lucrative sources of income. A scheme could be set up where they learn new trades and create products for the export market, which will boost their standard of living and at the same time increase the per capita income of the respective countries. There are ideas of different ways we can avert this disaster which will require commitment and dogged determination to see it through until we start to see the results, obviously, which can be measured by the number of new calves that are starting to survive undisturbed by poachers. Some of these people can go back to the old tradition of cloth weaving and craft-making which can be made to order or for export.

I feel that I am in a very privileged position as one of the few ethical designers who is able to combine my skills with the use of ethically sourced textile products to support disadvantaged communities around the world by using their traditional craft, techniques, and presenting them in a modern contemporary context that appeals to our young and trendy, ethical consumers while at the same time helping these communities improve their standard of living. There should be no more need to court outsourcing factories abroad who do next to nothing to provide their workers with a good working environment, or pay them a fair wage which leads to a phenomenon called ‘blood stained fashion’. It is our aim to demonstrate that fashion can be green and affordable. To learn more, please visit:  https://adeysapphire.com/product-category/clothing/