An easy guide to practising Sustainable Fashion

For many years, the fashion industry has been notorious for having a negative impact on the environment, which in turn affects us all.

Fast fashion – clothes made cheaply and quickly to meet demands for hot new styles or trends – has been among the biggest culprit of polluting the environment.

The production and distribution of the crops, fibres, and garments used in fashion all contribute to environmental pollution, including water, air and soil pollution. Not to mention, many workers producing fast fashion items work under slave-like conditions.

There are ways, however, to be fashionable and ethical. In order to be conscious consumers, we need to practise sustainable fashion.

The goal of sustainable fashion is to create flourishing ecosystems and communities through its activity by increasing the value of local production and products, prolonging the life cycle of materials, reducing the amount of waste and reducing the harm to the environment as a result of production and consumption.

Taking into account our environment, culture and the economy of Zambia, it’s important to note that the extent to which we can practise sustainable fashion might differ from developed countries. However, there are ways that we can all still be conscious consumers.

Here are a few ways below:

  1. Purchase good quality and timeless clothing

Sure, high quality clothing will cost more, but higher quality items will last years and years and ultimately is cheaper than buying multiple low quality items. Buying long lasting, high quality clothing works out cheaper in the long run. Good quality clothing never runs out of style especially if you are fashion forward!

Zambia has some talented designers and design houses, such as Kombe Collection, https://instagram.com/kombecollection?igshid=ikjblwcob2sb , Mangishi Doll https://instagram.com/mangishidoll?igshid=iijaxsz8wtul ( really want a Mangishi dress for my birthday this year, so *hint hint * ), Abisary Collections https://instagram.com/abisary_collections?igshid=qr4s4wgpmwo6 and House of PML https://instagram.com/houseof_pml?igshid=992qqvlgvilo to name a few that produce quality clothing that will last. Purchasing from local designers is a double win, you’ re promoting local fashion and buying good quality clothing that will be sure to last years to come.

2. Avoid following every trend

Fast fashion focuses primarily on cheap, accessible and on trend clothing. With fast fashion, as the clothes are cheap, you will be tempted to purchase very often. Also, it is important to note that certain fashion trends don’t suit everyone, harsh, but true. Besides, why would you like to look like everyone else? Everything deemed trendy was mass produced — which is terrible for our environment and doesn’t make you stand out anyway.

3. Learn simple hand stitching 

Many of us tend to throw away clothes simply because they are torn, have lost a button or need a new zip and frankly speaking taking clothes to the tailor for mending seems like too much effort, especially if the garment is not badly damaged. So we end up keeping the clothes in our closets for years, collecting dust, or worse still, throwing them away.

Learning basic hand stitching should be a skill we should all have if we want to be mindful consumers of fashion. That way, we can still put our clothes to good use. You can also find yourself a reliable tailor who can fix the items you can’t.

4. Buy Less and be creative with your clothes

Wearing the same clothes the same way can be a bore. This is why we’re sometimes guilty of buying more than we need. Instead of buying new clothes all the time, try and be more creative with your outfits, challenge yourself to recreate new looks from your already existing wardrobe. Mix and match your clothes in new ways. You can even redesign your outfits! That long dress that you are over? Revamp it by turning it into a skirt and top.

This way you will find that you buy less clothing, which ultimately means less waste and less harm to the environment.

5. Clothing Swaps

Have a day with one of your girlfriends or guy friends and swap clothes. You can host clothes swapping parties to make it more fun. This is a great way to ensure clothes are not being wasted and are actually being worn instead of piling up your wardrobe with clothes you no longer have the desire to wear again. There’s that dress you’ve been eyeing from your friend’s closet, and she wants your jumpsuit that you’ve not worn in ages, a clothing swap is ideal.

Clothes swaps are not only good to refill one’s wardrobe but are also an easy act of environmentalism.

6. Salaula/ Thrifting 

One way of practising sustainable fashion is by thrifting. Buying salaula (second hand clothes) can work to minimise our own carbon footprints. It’s good for the environment and pocket too! So thrift more!

Markets are popular places to thrift and among the mounds of clothes you’ll likely find some great items at a bargain price. Second hand shops like DAPP can still work as they offer a less hectic environment than market places. If you live in Lusaka and are a lazy thrifter take advantage of the thrift market that is held every last Saturday of every month at Foxdale Court or you can purchase really good quality clothing from Finders Keepers Zambia https://instagram.com/finderskeeperszm?igshid=1cweg08wkhag8 This is a great initiative founded by Marian Chileshe (aka Quirky Indeed) https://instagram.com/quirky_indeed?igshid=oqa4zh2jftdf, a Zambian fashion blogger who is passionate about sustainable fashion. If you are looking for convenience and looking to practise sustainable fashion while being kind to your pocket, then go to the Thrift Market or visit Finders Keepers and live sustainably!

All in all, to practise sustainable fashion, we have to reconsider how, where and when we spend our money. We also have to actively take care of our clothing and follow the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ method.

Following these steps, we can reduce materials in landfills, there will be less pollution and fewer resources used and the bonus is , we get to save money and look good at the same time. Such a win!

To learn more about Sustainable Fashion, please visit https://www.fashionrevolution.org/africa/zambia/.

I am part of the Zambian team that aims to accelerate the development of a sustainable and circular Zambian Fashion industry.

Love you for reading

xx!

Vision Board Party 2020

Visioning 2020

Taonga Kaonga

With each new year, I think most of us want to be better than the previous year/ years. It’s just….science!

And, of course, with a new year, I set goals that I need to achieve, but I needed help to get in the right headspace because life gets crazy sometimes;  demotivation, where to begin, how to achieve said goals, feeling uninspired etc.

So I thought of throwing a “Vision Board Party” in collaboration with Tafadzwa Bete. https://www.instagram.com/thatgoalgettergirl/ Tafadzwa Bete is a coach, training facilitator and consultant specialised in enhancing personal productivity and high performance. She is the Founder and Managing Consultant of GoalGetter Consultancy, an organisation that trains, coaches and supports young professionals and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.

What a phenomenal woman! I am so grateful she came on board and facilitated the event and provided all the materials for our boards.

The Vision board party was held on the 11th of January at Foxdale Court https://www.instagram.com/foxdalecourt/.  A big thank you to Foxdale Court for providing the beautiful space.

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I believe there’s power in visioning and writing down your goals.  To quote Erykah Badu ” write it down  on real paper with a real pencil. And watch things get real.”

VB’s are a visual treat into the life you want to live, If you see it, believe it and speak it, it will manifest. This is why they are so dear to me. Also, how fun and motivating to visually see your goals? There’s indescribable power in that!

I am so grateful to our Decor sponsor Beyond the decor for supporting the VB party. https://www.instagram.com/beyondthedecorzm/ We had really pretty, simple and clean decor that gave life and added personality to the room and set the right mood for our party. My favourite was the flower wall where we all took beautiful images shot by the very talented Mutumbi Lungu https://www.instagram.com/mutumbilungu/

 

What’s a Vision board party without snacks and food to share?! Pizza Hut Zambia https://www.instagram.com/pizzahutzambia/ was one of our sponsors.  Beyond grateful to the Pizza Hut Zambia team who were generous enough to give us Pizzas! I mean everyone loves pizza!

As for Desert, we had really yummy chocolate cupcakes by oh so sweet cakes https://www.instagram.com/oh_so_sweetcakes/ that everyone who attended the VB party couldn’t stop talking about! Messages about the oh so sweet cupcakes in our WhatsApp group went crazy! Well done to Janine, the lady behind the brand for her quality bakes!

Everyone who attended the event was so lovely and kind and brought the good vibes! What a crowd! Mood was perfect with beautiful soul music playing in the background as we all envisioned what our 2020 will be like. Extremely appreciative for each and everyone who came through and made the event a success. I was very inspired with what their boards looked like, well done, that in itself was extremely motivating and inspirational.  May their vision boards come to life. They are all so deserving!

P.s

I loved the simplicity and comfort of my outfit. In order for me to play an active role in supporting the Zambian Fashion Industry which I’m extremely passionate about , I made a conscious decision to support local designers. This is a deliberate move to promote sustainable and ethical fashion.  My outfit was custom made by the very talented Mwaka from Abisary Collections. https://www.instagram.com/abisary_collections/

 

A big thank you to everyone who came through, thank you for making the event happen! Lots of hugs!

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Group Picture

Happy 2020!

May this year be good to you!

Love,

Taonga

x!

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion & Jazz Brunch

 

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One of my goals this year was to plan and host an event I would like attend myself. If we are being honest, Lusaka has many events happening virtually all the time and choosing what event to attend can be somewhat overwhelming especially if you’re fussy or extremely picky.

Following the very cliché quote ” create what you wish existed” I decided to throw an intimate “Fashion & Jazz Brunch”  for some of my favourite fashionistas, bloggers and content creators who actively play an important role in the Zambian fashion industry, hold influence and whose work I profoundly admire.

It’s extremely important to create platforms for like minded individuals so as to share ideas, network, hold meaningful conversations and find ways to improve the industry in whatever way possible. What an honour it was to create the platform.

me

Fashion, Jazz and Brunch? That’s definitely a “me” thing, so incorporating my 3 loves was  a no brainer and spending some time with my favourite people? Fabulous! Truly.

The event was held at the Foxdale courtyard, gorgeous place with a quirky and rustic vibe with a beautiful fountain adding more beauty and personality, extremely fitting for the type of event.

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Everyone looked amazing and made the event even more fun. It was a hot summers day, loved that everyone played around with colour in their beautiful summer outfits.

The yummy brunch menu was done by Potager, a locally based business that caters for a range of events as well supply freshly made products that follows the motto “from farm to fork.” I loved, loved the mini BLT slidders, ate too many of them!

I would like to say a big thank you to Go Vino https://www.facebook.com/govino.guru/ for sponsoring the wines and Fitch & Leedes bespoke mixers that everybody loved!! Everyone got a goodie bag with their favourite bottle of wine and a range of different mixers. I mean, how cool? Also got really good reviews about the wine. My favourite being Peter Mwansa’s voice note! So hilarious! So if you’re looking for really good wine? Think Go Vino and spoil your senses!

Not only did the guests go back home with a goodie bag from Go Vino but they also got another goodie bag from All kinds of everything.

All kinds of everything https://www.facebook.com/allkindsandeverything/ is my  favourite beauty and products store. It’s a small business under one umbrella that deals in soap making, packaging, gifting and so much more.  Literally, has all kinds of everything! A big thank you to Sue McGlashan for the lovely goodie bags full of amazing beauty products.

Grateful to everyone who showed up, helped me in whichever way possible to make this goal achievable. You lot are appreciated!

 

 

A special thanks to the team I worked with:

Mwaka  from  https://www.facebook.com/AbisaryColl/-  For my custom made dress 

Chipo – Make up artist from https://www.facebook.com/Beautybyshemakeup/

Mutumbi Lungu- Photographer https://www.facebook.com/mutumbae

Elisha Mwenya- Videography https://www.facebook.com/elisha.c.mwenya

Bright Chinyimba – DJ

Thandiwe Ziba from Foxdale Court https://www.facebook.com/FoxdaleCourt/

P.s  An important lesson I learnt from this, is that the universe is always on your side and there’s people willing to help you. All you have to do, is have the courage to do whatever you want to do, its gonna work out, whatever it may be.  Here’s to creating more, challenging ourselves and reaching greater heights!

To quote Paulo Coelho Paulo :

______’And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’

Love you for reading! x

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A FABULOUS TRIO: Lusaka’s unmissable fashion events

Hey readers!

I wrote my first magazine article for Nkwazi magazine ; May/ June issue. Yay me! You can still read the article on the Nkwazi magazine website.  A FABULOUS TRIO Lusaka’s unmissable fashion events .  But I thought it would be cool to add my work here.

*Be sure to check out other interesting Fashion articles by some of my favs too!

 

In recent years, the Zambian fashion industry has been growing faster than ever before. In as much as the fashion industry is still in it’s infancy, Zambia is doing a stellar job in this sector.People are finally learning the importance of the industry and noting that job creation is one of the benefits of a growing fashion sector. The fashion industry is diverse, we have photographers, designers, fashion bloggers, models, makeup artists, and PR professionals, to name a few.Fashion, undeniably, is a part of our lives, whether we acknowledge it, or not. We all make daily decisions about how we present ourselves to the world, what to wear and how to groom ourselves, after all.If you are a fashion enthusiast and interested in following the progress of the local industry, the following are a few events you’ll want to attend.

ZAMBIA FASHION WEEK

Zambia Fashion Week is the country’s biggest fashion event. It’s held yearly in October and runs for three days (typically a Thursday to a Friday).Up and coming local fashion designers showcase on Thursday and Friday and established local designers showcase on Saturdays. International guest designers also showcase their best collections on Saturday, which is the main event day. Some guest designers that have showcased are David Tlale from South Africa, Paledi Segapo from South Africa and Ituen Basi from Nigeria.Founded by Karen Nakawala in 2010 with only six fashion designers showcasing at the time , Zambia fashion week has grown rapidly, with 60 fashion designers showcasing last year.From our best runway models flaunting the latest designs, to perfect lighting for a gorgeous selfie, great music and a wonderful ambiance to put you in a great mood, Zambia Fashion week is definitely a fashion event not to miss. It’s also a social event that allows you to meet a wide range of people, all brought together by a love of fashion.

LUSAKA JULY

Lusaka July is a luxury social event, which brings together fashion and polo. The event is held annually at Lusaka Polo Club where socialites, celebrities and public figures step out in their best outfits. Lusaka July was established in 2016 by PR Girl Media. In only a few years Lusaka July has grown into one of Zambia’s biggest fashion events. With different themes every year, it allows fashion enthusiasts to get creative with their outfits and have a delightful day.The event includes a fashion show that showcases local and international designers. With great music, fantastic food and fresh fashion this is definitely a must-attend.The theme for this year’s event will be 21st Century Garden. Fashionistas start prepping your outfits.

Champagne Picnic

The Champagne Picnic is another PR Girl event that brings together the best of fashion, food and music. The inaugural edition in 2018 was a hit, which attracted a sophisticated crowd and garnered plenty of media attention. One successful edition of the Champagne Picnic was all it took for the event to earn a reputation as a leading fashion and lifestyle event on Lusaka’s social calendar.The first Champagne Picnic was held under the theme ‘Splash Your Colour’ and saw attendees pull out all the stops. The 2019 edition is set for this May and will be held under the theme ‘All White.’South African TV presenter, actress and media entrepreneur Bonang Matheba was a guest at last year’s event, proving that Champagne Picnic has star power.Love you for reading x!

LADY’S LOOKS LATELY?

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Hello!

Let’s just blame “adulting” for this long writer’s block. Erm, correction, writer’s burnout.  Cool? I am back now, that’s all that matters. Promise to be more consistent and disciplined.

Soooo, lady’s looks lately?

Here goes:

WRAP SKIRTS

Wrap anything were so popular couple of years ago and they are totally in right now.  No surprise there. Fashion, really is just a never ending cycle.  I should probably keep my clothes well for my future kids LOL.

I’m currently obsessing over them for so many reasons, for starters they are so easy to wear, hello!  Life’s busy and any convenience even when it comes down to wardrobe?  Aha honey! Also, they are super cute and girly. I feel as if that should have been my first reason LOL. You can also dress them up and down.  A super win! Pair it with a cute polo neck (neutral colour is the best bet) or a little croppy and you are good to go. Wore mine with wide sleeves and an open back top and mustard chunky mules to add some style sass.  All so fabulous!

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WRAP DRESSES

I always have the urge to buy wrap dresses. I genuinely cannot get enough. I guess I’m “wrap obsessed?” Is that a thing? I love wrap dresses for the very reasons I like wrap skirts. Personally, I enjoy the dresses more only because it’s a complete outfit. No stress of looking for the perfect shirt or top.  Really ready to wear and go type of clothing.

 

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PLEATED MIDI SKIRTS

A bang on trend currently! Every stylish woman I know owns one. Pleats are a timeless classic and I love that they are back.  Love the versatility. You can wear one at work (which I do, sometimes) the compliments I get? I can live off that. LOL.  No, seriously. The skirt is also perfect for an evening out, throw on a fabulous pair of heels and a gorgeous top and voila! You are STYLE!

Also, is there anything as pleasant as the way a pleated looks when it moves? These are going to be huge in 2019. So, get on it!

 

 

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RUFFLE SKIRTS

These scream Carrie Bradshaw!

Carrie Bradshaw isn’t just a TV character, she’s a contemporary archetype for writing women and fashion loving women- and her presence has real power and influence.

She wears a ruffle skirt in the cold opening of the TV Series – Sex and the City. (Which I watch religiously now that I’m older.)

Ruffle skirts are super on trend, stylish and super easy to wear, but just be careful with how you match your tops. Try to stick to minimalism. Yes, you should never overdo with ruffles. Balance your look by wearing a simple top/shirt.

I paired my pastel pink ruffle skirt with a neutral colour. It’s the perfect balance.

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MOM JEANS

Never, ever, ever, running out of style!

Well I hope not. Mom jeans are a no brainer- when it comes to the combination of style and comfort. They are so versatile. You can literally wear them with almost any and everything and still look stylish.

Paired mine with this really cool grey t shirt and a pair of red boots for a complete chic look.

Love, love this casual outfit!

 

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Love you for reading! x

P.S Major announcement, I’m now selling really cute clothing. So, basically the answer to “Taonga” where do you get your stuff is……. *drum roll* from ME! Please look out for that on my socials. I am more than delighted to deliver the latest trends and all the stylish clothing. Excited actually!

 

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Casual coolness


If you ever wonder what comfort is? Casual clothes! Promise.


It’s not everyday heels & pretty dresses..  Also, I’m a very casual girl. Generally. If you meet me, I’ll probably be in a dress with brogues, or jeans and sneakers. Very laid back.

Anyway, I wore this look for an interview I did last week Friday with Siphiwe Mphanza, which was fun.  We talked about Fashion, which is a love of mine, blogging, brands I’d like to work with and everything in between. I’ll probably let you know when it will be aired on Tv and you can watch me do the “thang, thang” that’s if you’re keen.

For this look, everything is from everywhere, Smh. No shame in my game. The white shirt is from Mr Price, waist coat fur jacket is a thrift find.( Northmead), jeans are from Mud boutique. And my Chelsea boots are from The fix. I finished the look with a pair of sunglasses which I purchased from Legit. 

Also, ladies if you want bomb bangs, Ruth and Ritas hair salon is your go to place. (Northmead). Your hair will be laaiidddd. No doubt. You’re welcome. 

Love you for reading x! 

Honey Mustard

Talk about chic! An Oversized style blazer and short shorts? A definite yes!

So I had this outfit made  a while ago, just never had a chance to wear it. Okay, if I’m being frank,  I have the exact outfit in red. LOL, I’m one of those people who tend to purchase the same things in different colours. (No shame in my game.) Really.

I’m obsessed with this look because it’s sexy, quite edgy and I feel like power in it. Love it! 

The oversized blazer is my favorite trend, currently. It reminds me of the 80’s and 90’s era.  And if you know me, you know my love for everything 90’s. 

For this look, I wanted a bold colour, but not too loud. So the “honey mustard” was perfect. 

An added advantage of oversized jackets is that they can be paired with almost any and everything, making it a must have piece. You’d never lack in the style department.

P.s You can always accessorize for that extra glam. 

Love you for reading x!

SUNSHINE FINE 

Hey loves!

I know, I know. It’s been forever. Sorry.

(writers block). I appreciate my consistent readers who’ve been asking why I haven’t been active. You keep me going. Thanks for pushing the girl. Really. I’ll try my best to create more content. Promise.

Sooo, anyway this particular outfit was made 2 years ago. Yup! I had it made specifically for Zambia Fashion Week 2016. But my tailor only finished making it way after! No surprise here, we all know tailors. Sorta haven’t forgiven him, I mean, his Facebook friend request is still pending! LOL.

African Print (Chitenge) has been in fash for the longest time! I’m just glad we are experimenting with the fabric now. Because at some point it was such an eye roll. I mean, same patterns. Talk about inducing a headache! And as the saying goes “trendy is the last stage before tacky”

I’m super glad we are being super creative with the fabric. And when done right? Beautiful!

Never really worn this two piece. I’ve worn the top before though. I wore it on a different skirt when I was a guest speaker at last year’s Fashion Day Out Event . Talking about ” how to look good in local fashion” so fitting for the occasion. As for the skirt I wore it at my cousins Bridal shower late last year. And I had to tell my mum my skirt had a high slit in advance just incase I get the lecture of my life LOL, thank goodness for a cool mum!

I like the versatility of this two piece, I can wear it as it is, pair the skirt with something else or wear the top on pants or skirt… whatever it may be. A win!

For this look I decided to wear this belt I’ve had for years to give it more life. Because, *yawn* and I wore it with a pair of nude barely there sandals that I have abused unashamedly. These were a birthday gift from a friend. A legit store find.

Do you have a killer Chitenge outfit? If not, I’d encourage you to. Worth it. Also, play with colours, different prints and styles. For beautiful fabric try the shop Safique found in Kamwala. It’s the “fabric holy grail” .  I always get my material from there. So! Enjoy your outfit. It’s yours! No rules really. Well sorta.

Love you for reading!

x!

Sassy in a little white dress..,

We all love a Little black dress(lbd).  But, Voila! can we say Hallelujah to the Little White Dress???  (Lwd)

It’s efinitely a closet staple. Just as you know that having a Lbd is a girl must have , consider owning a little white dress too! 

It’s a clean statement piece, it’s a symbol of luxe and it’s super glam too! 

Don’t get me started on how expensive you look. LOL

I specifically love this lwd because of its split detail. Split details are so on trend, and they add a little VA VA voom ! I’m obsessed! Like… totally.

I paired my lwd with my new fav pair of barely there heels and  this beautiful faux fur coat  just to look head to toe Sassy!

Don’t just have a little black dress, step up and get you a little white dress too! Trust me , it’s just as handy as the lbd. Maybe this one is even better, you tell me..Personally, the lwd does it for me.

I loooove this look ❤

So, be Sassy in a little White dress. 

Love you for reading xx!

A little Burgundy Love!

Hey guys!

Let’s get right into it. Creating this look was as effortless as it looks. I wore two basic staples every girl should have; a good pair of jeans and a white top. Really, they are a must have. Jeans are so versatile, and I love love this pair here. Probably my favorite, but with this little weight gain errr… I will need to re consider LOL.

So, to not look so basic I wore my burgundy ankle booties, which I’m obsessed with! 

I wore this gorgeous jacket which I recently got from my mum. I was annoyed she had it all this time, and I never ever saw it! LOL. Anyway I’m glad she gave it to me without a debate. Shocker there.  

I like how it adds some drama and glamour to the outfit…ooh did you see what I just did there LOL.

And to complete this look I wore this black hat I haven’t worn in edges! It has reshaped, but glad it still looked good on the outfit. 

This is such an effortlessly chic outfit. And I love it! It’s also very comfortable  easy to wear too.


 To get this look, you need  your basic staples ; a good pair of jeans and a white shirt. And throw over a statement jacket for some glam. A pair of booties and of course a hat! You could re create this look too! Even cooler. With Fashion allow your creative side. It never should be a bore!
But remember, Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love.!Said the great Coco Chanel.

Outfit dets: hat & jeans- thrifted

                       White top & ankle boots- The                         fix

                        Jacket- my mum’s wardrobe

Love you for reading xx!