When Ankara on Brand’s founder Nina Amoo decided to start her label heritage, identity and a love of print was core to her vision.”I have a deep admiration for prints and textiles, which probably stemmed from memories from my childhood in my mother’s atelier and being surrounded by prints and cloths” reflected Amoo. With these memories in hand and desire to see clothes celebrating her heritage she set off to build a brand where women, sustainability and prints are celebrated.
One of Ankara on Brand’s main pillars is sustainability. When approached on the matter Nina stressed the importance of looking at the brand’s activities as a whole, “I think the word sustainability has and is being used too loosely, nowadays. If we all look a little closer, you will recognise that to truly be a sustainable brand, you have to reflect that in all facets of your business activities. It is not just about using eco-friendly fabrics or packaging, or committing to paying a living wage. These are all elements for consideration, but we cannot ignore the reality of over producing, carbon footprint, and the very nature of the industry which remains fast” Fast fashion has been under the microscope of late with activists calling on more ethical treatment of workers, less production and a more circular approach to their supply chains. At AOB the brand has tackled the matter quite simply by printing and using material only when it is needed. The brand designs multipurpose garments as every piece they create can be worn in various styles and during any occasion. “When we design a piece we always ask ourselves this fundamental question – how many different ways can I wear this? With my latest collection had the “no fastenings” challenge, which means that all pieces can be manipulated and styled to suit different body shapes and sizes. Therefore, if you put on or lose a couple of pounds, you can still wear it, just adjust the tie!“
Behind AOB is community, a community of women who have worked hard to preserve their identity, climb up the career ladder and take up space. When looking back at all those women that have shaped her as a designer Nina has expressed her intention for AOB for women, “Our mission is to create a brand that celebrates black women and empowers us to be our true authentic selves. I want AOB to be known for creating fashion that is reflective of the African diaspora experience. I want AOB to be a treat to self, a bit of joy to transform how we are feeling about ourselves or a situation, even if it is just for a moment.”
We could not prouder of the partnership we have formed with Ankara on Brand. The work that Nina and her team are doing to bring about sustainability and transparency to the fashion industry and the wider community is paramount to bringing about awareness and accountability.
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