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Upcycled denim rug

The African Queen (wall) tapestry is a tribute to all women who work in the second-hand clothing industry in Africa. The design, created by Nigerian Eno Andrew Essien, shows a powerful, African woman who is larger than the rug itself.
Upcycled denim rug

Upcycled jeans from Kenya

Upcycled jeans from Kenya

To get straight to the point: the textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. It is estimated that 60 billion kilos of textiles and footwear are discarded every year.

The vast majority of this ends up on a rubbish heap or landfill or in nature. This also happens in Kenya. That's where Africa Collect Textiles (ACT) comes in. ACT is a social enterprise with a mission to create a circular and inclusive clothing industry in Africa. ACT collects clothing, in their own clothing containers, which are located with collection partners. These partners are paid per kilo of jeans.

 

Huge amounts of clothing

Much of the clothing and footwear collected in Kenya is second or third hand. The bulk of this comes from Europe, Canada and the United States. On the one hand, it is good that this clothing is reused, on the other hand, this covers up the enormous overconsumption in the Western world. It also disrupts the local economy, because the local clothing products cannot compete with the cheap 'mitumba', which is Swahili for second-hand clothing from the rich west.

 

Collecting jeans to upcycle

The discarded jeans are collected in Africa Collect Textiles' own clothing containers. Sometimes it is necessary to replenish unsaleable jeans (unsaleable because they are too big for Kenyans, for example) from second-hand markets. For example, if certain colors are needed for weaving the design.

The clothing waste mountain in figures

Millions of garments are added to the market every year. Not only more clothing, but also cheaper clothing, which means that the clothing waste mountain is getting bigger and bigger. Some statistics in a row;

  • We produce four times as much clothing as ten years ago
  • Due to overproduction, 30% of clothing never reaches a wardrobe
  • Textiles account for 10% of global CO2 emissions
  • One T-shirt requires thousands of liters of water
  • Polyester clothing contributes to the plastic soup

 

The African Queen rug is suitable both as a floor and wall rug/tapestry Each rug is provided with a number and the name of the weaver. With an ACT African Queen rug you not only have a beautiful rug, but you immediately make a statement against today’s clothing industry and create awareness about the ever-growing fast fashion problem.

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