The internet has broken boundaries, decimated borders, and destroyed social strata. For creatives, it has made it easier for anyone to collaborate with everyone. This has been true for Zimbabwean music, but we’re starting to see the phenomenon in Zimbabwean fashion.
Zimbabwean brand, Reculture Apparel has collaborated with a Kenyan brand called Nairobi District Apparel, to bring truth to this assertion.
Reculture Apparel was founded in 2021 by Marshall Makurumidze who is an art and fashion lover. He says he founded ReCulture as a way of expressing his creativity and honouring his tradition as he draws inspiration from various sources.
“I started Reculture Apparel as a way of expressing my creativity and honouring my heritage. I’m an intuitive artist who draws inspiration from various sources, such as music, nature and history,” says Makurumidze.
His designs are derived from different cultures and traditional fabrics as he seeks to inspire people across different cultures. “I design my own clothing using traditional fabrics and patterns from different cultures, such as Slavic, African, and Asian. I want to inspire people to appreciate and respect the beauty of different cultures through my clothing. I also want to create a community of like-minded people who share my vision of reculturing the world,” he explains.
Makurumidze has social media to thank for making it easier for him to connect with Nairobi Apparel District and making the collaboration possible.
“I linked up with the Kenyan brand through Instagram, just after they had featured on Hypebeast for African creatives to look out for in 2023. We actually haven’t met in real life, but from the beginning we realised our vision was aligned. That’s how the collaboration came about. This all happened through the internet, which is amazing because it shows how technology can connect people across borders and cultures,” he says.
The collaboration has expanded ReCulture’s reach, giving them exposure and credibility, and at the same time creating unique pieces that unite and inspire. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of both brands.
“The collaboration has paid dividends in many ways. For one thing, it has expanded our audience and reach to new markets and customers. We have also gained exposure and credibility as a creative and innovative brand that celebrates diversity and culture,” explains Makurumidze.
The collaboration is one of a kind. Vibrant, conscious, sustainable, what more can we ask for?
Makurumidze atests to this, saying, “We have also created a unique and original product that showcases the best of both worlds: Vibrant but money conscious. By doing so, we have also united people who share our vision of reculturing the world and appreciating the beauty of different cultures. We have also inspired other young artists and entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and passions.”
The icing on the cake is the fact that this entire collection was made from upcycled clothing. This collaboration is a great example of how fashion can be used to make a positive impact on the world. By repurposing second hand clothing, the collaboration is reducing waste and promoting sustainability. By infusing the designs with meaningful messages, the collaboration is using fashion as a tool for social advocacy.
Makurumidze explains that “Our collaboration with Nairobi Apparel District is meant to transform second hand T-shirts into works of art with meaningful designs. By promoting sustainability, reducing waste, and using fashion as a tool for social advocacy, we are addressing important issues in the fashion industry and making a positive impact in African communities.”
“Our mission is to create a more sustainable and socially conscious fashion industry that aligns with the global push for environmentally friendly practices and ethical fashion. By repurposing second hand clothing and infusing it with bold and thought provoking designs, we are demonstrating that fashion can be a catalyst for change and a means to promote positive values,” adds Makurumidze.
The intersection of Zimbabwean and Kenyan culture can be seen in this collaboration. We hope that this collection marks the beginning of synergies between African brands, across borders. It truly is exciting times for African fashion, and we here at Mcheno&More will be there to tell the story to the world.