We're so proud to introduce this very-extra-special(!) dress and bottle design,created in collaboration with S'well and designed by textile artist Shadé Akanbi, to celebrate a shared vision between two female-led businesses in facilitating consumer responsibility and building a more sustainable world. We hope you'll love this sweet combo as much as we do:) And now, let's share a bit about the process, and how this fabulous dress came to be!
FIRST, THE DESIGN PROCESS!
The first thing we share with the designer is a mood board, which gives a nice starting point for inspiration and palette!
Next, Shadé reverts with a few different print options in a variety of colors based on the mood board.
We'll then have a discussion about not just the prints we love (we love all of them!) but which one in particular would translate best to both applications--a dress and a small bottle, which must be wrapped without showing a seam! It's a very collaborative process and a fun one, resulting in our favorite choice, which we then sample in a variety of colorways before deciding on THE ONE!
Once we've made our final selections, we get to work! This fabric is a 3 color print, and therefore must go through 3 nickel rolls in the rotary process, each of which must be calibrated and aligned perfectly. Then, the fabric will be printed for about 10 meters, and a sample will be cut and heat treated to see how closely the colors match the original sample. We went through 3 color changes before landing on the perfect match.
We are truly grateful to Dixon, Chomba and the entire team at Thika Cloth Mills in Kenya, who knocked this out of the park.
Finally, the stitching!
The team at SOKO have truly shown that it’s possible to produce really well made clothing at scale while prioritizing employee well-being and paying above fair wages and being thoughtful about environmental sustainability and community outreach. They prove day after day that ethical, sustainable manufacturing is possible when putting people and community first, and that the learning never stops in the effort to do good and do better!