The Slum Studio, a platform that uses art and regenerative fashion to give new life to second-hand and discarded fabrics.
It is a multifaceted brand and creative community which is interested in the politics of clothing and fashion. An Accra-based brand sources textile offcuts and second-hand clothing waste from markets in ghana and turns them into new apparel.
The Studio’s web page reads:
“The Slum Studio analyses the forms of dialogue between spaces, reciprocal inspirations, collaborations and as a process visually repurpose’s and give old fabrics a whole new life and meaning with natural pigments and fabric paints”.
In an attempt to engage with the already ongoing narrative about the second-hand clothing business in Ghana, they attempt to document the many hands through which the product in question travels and affects our immediate spaces and the people.
We use abstract expressionism to retell stories of second-hand clothing redistribution. Through this, we process and produce hand-painted apparel upcycled from discarded second-hand clothing waste and textile offcuts. Art and fashion playoff in a healthy creative relationship with one another today and have done so much in the past years.
The Slum Studio is fascinated by clothing as a second skin, shelter, and an essential tool for bringing realism to creativity and production.
The ethical clothing line is highlighting issues of overconsumption, mass production, and fashion waste while creating bespoke upcycled pieces that illustrate the vivid stories of these second-hand marketplaces through glorious colors and illustrations.
Looking at how overconsumption and mass production impacts fashion evolution in today’s world, they take a careful look at the means of production.
We rely on traditional and modern forms of textile reproduction and commercial distribution to produce a transformed new piece of apparel that does not only serve as wear but artwork as well.
Where are the sources of the materials?
90% of fabrics are sourced from the numerous second-hand clothing markets in Accra, the capital of Ghana. These fabrics come from UK, USA, Germany, Korea, China, etc as offcuts, used and store rejects. They collect white and off-white cotton fabrics which they later take through the process of hand paint and stamping with stories captured from the markets to recreate The Slum Studio apparel.
“If you’re in the global north don’t say you don’t know that donated clothes end up in Africa.”
Sel Kofiga, Artist and Founder of The Slum Studio
Our mission is not only to produce bright and colorful apparel but also to experiment, document the process, and tell a story.
Africa receives a huge percentage of the world’s used clothes and the debate on whether this is detrimental to the local fashion industry has been going on for a long time.