Top SA designer’s sari project gains momentum in PMB

2014-10-13 00:00

SOUTH African designer Rayana Edwards has started a colourful stir in Pietermaritzburg with her campaign “Sari for Change”.

Sari for Change is an innovative and sustainable project that trains impoverished and unemployed women to create stunning new garments from recycled old and unused eastern-styled saris and kaftans. It aims to adapt the eastern garments to a modern mix of western and African styles.

The project, which is taking over South Africa, has made its way to Pietermaritzburg with the first workshop held this past Saturday that sought to tap into the creativity of 20 trainees. Edwards is working with local attorney Yugendrie Maharaj to reach the women of Pietermaritzburg.

She said that saris are a huge material resource that can help in reducing our carbon footprint in manufacturing clothing.

“I grew up in a family of tailors from Cape Town. I’ve always loved the different colours and textures of eastern garments. It’s also about bringing the cultures together so that women can be proud of their identity and be fashionable at the same time,” she said.

Edwards has been collecting saris for more than two years, obtained six sewing machines and has opened a shop in Northcliff to sell the products that her trainees make. All the money collected from the sales goes back to the trainees and help grow the campaign further.

“I hope to take the project into east African countries over the years to come and I’d like to open up a few more retail stores,” said Edwards.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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