It started just as an idea for us. 4 University students, pained by the polluting nature of the fashion industry, the constant question being “How can we bring change?”
In an attempt to find sustainable alternatives to the existing plastic based synthetics, we needed an abandunt resource that we could tap into. We needed a game changing raw material that would bridge the gap between fashion and sustainability. We needed something mind blowing yet easily available!
As children of small holder farmers, we decided to work in harmony with what was around us. That led us to embark on a journey to discover how we could make good use of agricultural waste into appealing, wearable products, while ridding farmers of the waste from their farms.
Then early this year, determined to actualise the idea but unable to fund its practice, we decided to venture into some competitions to get capital. After numerous applications, our idea gained popularity and was welcomed globally!
Upon the realisation that it was possible to impact the huge fashion industry with just small steps, we decided to swing into action. That is where the revolution began.
By late February, we had started our journey to Olare, Homa Bay County and started engaging pineapple farmers, kick-starting a journey we are now- four months later- even more determined to move along with and see Kenyans wear clothes, shoes or decorate their vehicles out of fabric made from a process we have innovated.
We are now done with the prototyping stage where we were able to process about 150kgs of pineapple leaves, which amounted to an impressive 2 square metres of fabric. Having proven that this works, we now heading to transform the pilot programme at an industrial scale by taking in more waste, of different types, through the same process. In terms of an end product, over the next six months, we are looking at having a dress, a pair of shoes, a shirt and a jacket made from our material so that people are able to see, feel and touch it!
Our skills and expertise lies in R&D, figuring out different types of wastes and the processes they need to go through to get to the fabric stage. Then others can take over and make shoes, clothes, bags and other items.
We are in conversations with a lot of interesting players and we can’t wait to show the world what we have made!
We are Rethread Africa, and our core activity is turning agricultural waste into bio-based synthetics for use in apparel, footwear and upholstery. Join us in our mission to revolutionize the fashion industry, one thread at a time.
Rethread Africa, GCA 2023 Winner
Partnering with nature to weave fabrics of the future.