In a day and age where many brands are aware of the various global plagues and are focused on finding unique fabrications that are sustainable and ethical, brands like Edun have pushed the boundaries even further. Created by Ali Hewson (Irish activist and businesswoman) and Bono (lead vocalist of the band U2), Edun is working alongside local artisans to procure many knits and embroidered garments. Edun, together with TechnoServe, is also responsible for launching Dioro, Mali-based CCI (Conservation Cotton Initiative.) CCI was established to help farmers who have become displaced from their homes and farms due to civil war. The label is focused on sustainability and is doing so by producing a staggering 85% of their collection specifically in the continent of Africa.
Though Edun exists as a catalyst for economic growth in Africa’s fashion manufacturing sector, the label is showing that environmental awareness is about more than where you source your goods. Edun is giving birth to new economies, which allows for Africa’s natives to have more financial independence. Edun is creating a platform for young creators and artisans to be born.
Fast forward to Edun’s recent Pre-fall 2017 collection, which takes inspiration from the earthy palette of the most southern part of the Namibia’s desert called Sossusvlei. If you’ve ever been to Namibia or seen photos, then you understand how alluring the Sossusvlei Sahara is. From the famous Dead Vlei, (Dead Valley in Afrikaans) to the well-known salt and clay pan, which grows camel thorn trees, the collection is a beautiful representation of one of Namibia’s most renowned attractions.
The fall line also showcases many different accessories and garments, which use the ‘Faso Dan Fani’ technique. This traditional cotton fabric originates from Africa and is worn by hundreds of different ethnic groups. At first glimpse, the collection evokes a 70s nostalgia.
One of the first prominent characteristics of Edun’s pre-fall ’17 collection is the use of the turtleneck. A few seasons ago, the turtleneck silhouette crept into various collections on the runway. After a year of seeing turtlenecks appear on different celebrities, clothing labels, and groups, it looks as though it will continue into 2017. Who knew 1920s news correspondent, Noel Coward and Apple’s co-founder, Steve Job’s turtleneck fetish, would have such a lasting effect and influence on fashion? Edun has styled turtle necklines into more than half of their newest pre-fall collection.
The collection is brimming with 70s styling and offers up an abundance of patterns and beautiful handcrafted details. I’m certain this is one of the benefits of procuring a collection in such a diverse place like Africa. As someone in the western world who experiences four seasons yearly, the styling embraces slight oddities in layering and silhouette pairing. One look, in particular, a white shirt dress with a knit turtleneck underneath, makes for a uniquely thought out look which could unquestionably be an everyday look this fall.
A few other 1970s revival details, which were quite surprising, were the return of flared pants. Edun’s off-white bell bottom rompers and zip-up dress made from Moroccan-sourced denim are such a delight. The assortment, as a whole, felt very “1970s black Hollywood meets current day Solange,” which certainly captures the current zeitgeist. Given Edun’s expansion into knitwear and cotton denim, I am confident that Edun will be amongst this fall’s most ubiquitous brands.