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Kolade the Ugandan designer repurposing west’s cast-offs

On the 27th of April 2022 Kolade launched a fashion brand made entirely out of recycled secondhand clothing from Uganda. Buzigahill is all about "redesigning secondhand clothing and redistributing it to the global north, where it was originally discarded before being shipped to Africa."

Kolade describes Buzigahill's first collection, Return to Sender, as genderless, playful and raw. Made from garments that have been dissected and pieced back together, each of the 250 pieces is one of a kind. In the $195 (£150) to $530 price range, you'll find everything from four-panel T-shirts to long coats. In order to identify the country and supplier of each garment, it has a "passport" label.

Over the past year, he and his team have had to overcome numerous obstacles, such as working on garments for weeks only to have the fabric disintegrate or stretch after washing, and struggling to set up payment systems on the company's site.

I am trying to set up a positive story here, showing that we have reacted economically and politically to come up with something fun and accessible, but it is menacing," says he.

As part of a 10-year plan, Buzigahill plans to build small, specialized factories across Uganda, not only for the repurposing of used clothing but also for the hand-weaving of textiles and artisanal production, and Kolade hopes to expand to neighboring countries as well.

“We have an opportunity here to start really thinking about the whole recycling, upcycling, repurposing industry, as opposed to only focusing on raw materials,” Kolade explains.

This story was first published in The Guardian

Article written by Alice McCool

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