Jessica Ogden has collaborated on ethical fashion collections (including one with People Tree in 2009) before, but the Jamaican-born, Paris-based designer has a delightful treat for us at ASOS this month. Fairly produced by SOKO, which creates jobs in underprivileged communities in Kenya, the 1920s-inspired line of hand-beaded playsuits, A-line dresses, and printed tunics is exclusive to the online retailer’s “Green Room” collective.
MADE IN AFRICA
SOKO was founded two years ago by Jo Maiden, a former project manager at the Ethical Fashion Forum. Working on projects like this makes a real difference for Kenyan workers, Maiden tells Ecouterre. “SOKO had the privilege of producing all the garments for this collection,” she says.”There were just under 1,000 garments in the collection and each garment included a beaded detail. We had a team of up to 45 beaders at any one time working away on these garments.”
ASOS will donate £5 for every item sold from the Jessica Odgen for ASOS collection to help SOKO build its new workshop.
Over the course of the project, SOKO paid its beaders a total of £2,000 ($3,200) in wages. “It is an exciting thought for us,” Maiden adds.”That this money has entered the local market to assist otherwise unemployed individuals in paying their children’s school fees and putting food on the table.”
SOKO also produces collections for ASOS Africa and Lalesso, a recipient of an EFF Innovation Award. ASOS will donate £5 ($8) for every item sold from the Jessica Odgen for ASOS and ASOS Africa collections to help SOKO build its new workshop.