The high fashion brand EDUN, founded by musician Bono and his wife Ali Hewson in 2005, takes a step further to implement the global responsibility of garment producers for fair labour conditions and ‘sustainable growth’: Together with designer Danielle Sherman, they co-operate with local initiatives, artists and manufacturing facilites in sub-Saharan Africa from their base in New York, to create modern womenswear and accessories for the catwalk.
What the label officially states seems like a great concept with an admirable aesthetical outcome. Not only may it support the African industry economically and socially, but it speaks a very unique language of form, colours and textile structures that is rooted in Africa, too. The EDUN style is difficult to define by its minimal mix of geometric and leopard patterns, furry and shiny materials, edgy cuts and soft curved shapes. Details like layers of fringy hem lines or big contrasted buttons appear to be displaced in some way, but call up curiousity. Each collection stands for itself, is not just a copy of a copy, neither following trends.
The travel pictures on the website seem to keep the promise of a stated philosophy of ethical values. Apart from a one-time produced series of limited EDUN LIVE t-shirts made of organic cotton from Africa and the participation in the social initiative CCIU (Conservation Cotton Initiative Uganda), EDUN does not make specific use of certified sustainable fabrics.
The brand now manufactures 95% of the collection in Africa and recovers from debts since Sherman became the creative director in 2013.
EDUN’s CEO Julian Labat is quoted in the article ‘The Real Point of Difference: Edun and Sustainable Fashion Business’, written by Jeppe Ugelvig in June ’15:
While J.L. admits that we need to see a global change of attitude towards sustainability from customers, he emphasises the role of the industry to create and respond to a demand of sustainable production: ”It is the producer’s responsibility to provide products that meet these demands; allowing informed consumers to concretise this ideal.”¹
IMAGE SOURCE AND PRESS RELEASE: Edun / edun.com