Karen Gold IS a British brand that fuses West African fabrics with British craftsmanship

 
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British craftsmanship

is of the highest standard in the fashion industry and this remains respected all over the world.

Having trained at the ASOS Stitching Academy in stitching and pattern cutting with Fashion Enter here in London, I have always felt the need to support the Made in Britain movement.

The hand loomed fabrics, solely made in Nigeria, are widely used for various styles in the Western part of Africa hence the desire to fuse it with British craftsmanship.

I believe my role, as a British designer with Nigerian heritage, is to build communities by connecting traditional textiles and crafts with today’s contemporary world through innovation in fashion.
— Karen Gold
 

How have your trips to Nigeria impacted upon your design processes and brand values?

My trips to Nigeria were greatly informative and have certainly broadened my knowledge of the impact of fashion. I have also come to understand what it means to be ethical in my practises and the need to avoid waste.

I also appreciate the craft more now, especially having seen the dedication and hard work put into the making of hand loomed fabrics.

 
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How much importance is placed on sustainable practice within the brand?

Sustainable fashion for us means creating a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of the human impact on our environment and social responsibility. It means coming up with programs to preserve cultural heritage. Not only promoting traditional textiles as a cultural product but also developing these products to be acceptable in the global markets using Fair Trade standards and ensuring transparency in our dealings.

Sustainable fashion also means creating job opportunities, ensuring that sewing skills are put to use and ensuring production is sustained here in the UK. Being ethical is at the core of our business and this covers everything we do from the design to sourcing of fabrics, work with the suppliers and education of our customers.

 
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How much impact do you believe a young designer can have in changing the future of fashion industry practice?

One person cannot change the industry. Changing industry practices can be achieved through collaboration by a group of collectives who stick to what they believe in. A young designer must not settle for mediocrity, challenge yourself to improve on what already exists. Don’t allow your creativity to be unduly tamed or influenced. Don’t be afraid to try something new, find your niche and be authentic.