A couple of weeks ago I attended the Mane Game, Grenada’s only annual natural hair, beauty and health event hosted by Arlena Mark of Happy Me, Naturally. It was also that time when I learned a bit about sustainable fashion.
If you missed this event, you missed a treat. The presenters were all phenomenal. They discussed a range of topics such as social issues by social worker, Nakitha Noel to hair colouring by Genel Forteau of Virtue School of Beauty. Lots of valuable information was shared and to top it off, there was a mini fashion show by Tambran by Tamara and a few giveaways to add some more fun and excitement.
In the midst of all the happenings, there was one presenter who immediately caught my attention. If you’ve ever seen this dress (below) and wondered where it came from, it was designed and constructed by Lois McGuire, designer and seamstress under the brand Lyb’rtee Rose.
I first saw this dress at Women In Production Expo hosted by Market Access & Rural Enterprise Development Programme (MAREP) Grenada and was so very curious about it. It was certainly something I had never seen before and I definitely wanted to find out more about it.
To my surprise, Lois attended the Mane Game to shed some light on her creation.
In the month July, Grenada Bureau of Standards and Grenada Dehydrated Fruit & Vegetable Cluster hosted a small business expo. Lois used this opportunity to explore the concept of sustainable fashion and displayed this amazing piece she made from wild pine straw found here, in Grenada.
— Lyb'rtee Rose (@LybrteeRose473) July 28, 2016
Just around the time of the expo, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) sent out a call, requesting submissions of ideas and activities used to promote sustainable consumption and production. This was in celebration of International Youth Day, August 12, 2016. Lois tweeted her masterpiece (above) to UNEP and later on received an email stating that she was one of seven persons chosen worldwide to be featured. Read about Lois’ feature with UNEP HERE.
Lois’ thoughts behind the dress:
I thought it the perfect opportunity to start dialogue on sustainable fashion. Writers – write, painters – paint…designers – design and so I chose to create something that would spark conversation. I recently became aware of the concept while researching on fashion and clothing styles of the world. I read an article that discussed several issues, but mainly discussed the lives of the factory workers who make garments for several brands worldwide. To say I was appalled, would be an understatement, especially because I realized that unknowingly I also have been supporting the injustice of these workers…even though, yes I can sew. My message to UNEP is that we need to make this topic a relatable one. My suggestion is to use fashion. Sustainability brings the idea of self-reliance into question. I believe if people are able to see the relation between their fashion choices and the environment, change can be created. Simple things as reusing or re-fashioning clothes, donating and buying quality items are everyday choices we can make to create change. Grenada is filled with unexploited talent. Instead of looking outwards for our fashion, we should look within. Support local. To everyone who feels that it is impossible for us to become self-reliant and it will be a challenge for us to support sustainable consumption and production habits, I say we are living in a global world. Our choices here can have an impact. Think of the dress that was made with wild pine straw from Soubise [Grenada], that was featured worldwide. Think. Act.