By Chere Di Boscio
“Not Charity, Just Work.”
That’s the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s motto, and it reflects how they help communities grow through fashion: by providing them the tools for a continuous empowerment. The EFI (a flagship program of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations) connects artisans from around the developing world to the international value chain of fashion, consequently transforming fashion into a vehicle for development.
In particular, the EFI supports African creators’ potential for growth, and is focused on a rising generation of talented designers from the continent. As part of an initiative conceived by the United Nations, all the EFI’s work is evaluated through an Impact Assessment to verify that it’s bringing positive change and tangible results to the communities in which it works.
Inspired by this mission and catalized by the Rana Plaza disaster, the Noir Tribe Media Company created Ethetics (ethics+aesthetics), a short documentary fashion film series in partnership with the Ethical Fashion Initiative. Ethetics aims to highlight to union of aesthetics and social good, and features fashion created in Africa, Colombia and America that respects people and the planet.
We’re honoured to show you the first two episodes of the series here on Eluxe. Get your organic popcorn at the ready, relax, and enjoy these fashion films!
This first episode has won several accolades, from being shortlisted at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival to winning the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African Fashion Film Festival in 2017 for Best Cinematography. The video clearly demonstrates how Ethetics is dedicated to showcasing socially responsible brands from around the globe. Entitled AKJP, it was created by Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen, who take us to Cape Town to unveil menswear designs that are shown in a futuristic mise-en-scène, where a dark dystopia metamorphoses into a land of blissful peace.
This second conscious video is entitled MDIGNI COUTTS. It premiered at the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016 and won Best Styling at Mexico Fashion Film Festival 2017 and Best Cinematography at the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South Africa Fashion Film Festival 2017, where it was also nominated for Best Fashion and Best Documentary.
This film features creations by Lukyanho Mdingi & Nicholas Coutts. The characters in this short movie (models Gandhi Mukiza and Yannick Konan) wander through astonishing settings, from mountainous surroundings to deserts, in a love letter to the surrounding landscapes.
The Noir Tribe filmmakers powerfully have the words of the designers echoing in the background of this episode, as they profoundly ponder forming an alternative to mainstream consumerism in favour of conscious couture creations.