Hamaji is an African designer collection inspired by the East African charm and it embodies the spirit of nomadic femininity. Reigning from the East coast of Africa, Hamaji was born in Kenya in 2017 by designer Louise Sommerlatte. Built on the principles of sustainability and conscious consumerism, their collections are composed from natural fibres, botanical dyes, hand craft, embroidery, and up-cycled collected vintage textiles. Hamaji name originates from the coastal Swahili region, meaning ‘nomad’. This African designer collection is created around preserving ancient textile traditions and nomadic craftsmanship while empowering small-scale artisans in Africa.
How Hamaji has Adopted the Ethical, Slow Fashion Idea
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important and more and more people are trying to reduce their impact on the planet. An ethical brand makes sure it positively impacts on people, the planet, and animals. On the other hand, slow fashion is the widespread reaction to fast fashion. It is thoughtful, intentional, and holistic. It is also an argument for hitting the brakes on excessive production, overcomplicated supply chains, and mindless consumption. As a result, Hamaji, an ethical and sustainable fashion brand, is meeting the demand and helping change the fashion industry for the better.
Hamaji pieces are stitched at Mitumba Arts, a small collective in Nanyuki, where 20 local artisans work together, mostly creating items made from second-hand clothes found at the mitumba market. Their embroidery is done by a small group of artisans from the Ngara slum of Nairobi. Nigerian tradesmen supply them with their nomadic trinkets that they source in North and West Africa at annual nomadic desert festivals. They travel between East and West Africa, the Middle East and Yemen collecting jewels and gems to trade amongst other artisans. Hamaji also works with small local businesses, like their recent collaboration with Nuno, a Nairobi-based natural dyeing studio. All the profits they get is collectively shared between the artists consisting of tailors, upholsters, hand beaders and painters. Below, we are highlighting some of the attires created by Hamaji.
Pomegranate Dress – Mauve
The pomegranate dress by Hamaji is a free-flowing dress with an oversized silhouette, pleated bell-shaped sleeves and a striking collar framed by exquisite embroidery. This dress is made from Italian silk crepe and embroidered with unique Hamaji botanical sketch designs. This dress is one of a kind and it is perfect for a summer evening and daily wear. It is an eye-catching piece that will be with you forever.
The cream cowrie dress by Hamaji is simple, elegant and with a beautiful hand beaded cowry shell detailing on the front. It has a low V neck front in a stylised A silhouette and the back yoke in Hamaji signature hornbill block print in indigo. It is made from 100% organic natural linen.
Hillary Blazer is Straight cut with a slight over sized man blazer style. It is made from un-dyed jacquard cotton and embellished with hand beaded collected cowry shells.
Butter Pleated Palazzo Pants
The picturesque East African coastal town of Kilifi comes to life in this slow fashion Hamaji collection, perfect for the wanderer at heart. These wide leg pants are made in Kenya from hand-dyed Tencel-rayon and feature delicate front pleats with a full flowing silhouette. They pair beautifully with the matching butter peplum vest or tie-front top.
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I am a beauty, lifestyle, and fashion content writer. I have worked with diverse clients over the years and some of my best qualities include being cooperative, patient, and always striving to meet my clients’ specifications. I developed an interest in fashion and fabrics from a young age. I have also had the opportunity of engaging in second-hand clothes retail business in Gikomba Market, Kenya.