Yevu- Wax-Print Apparel, Ethically Made in Ghana

hero-1-602x352YEVU is a clothing line that is ethically made in Ghana, West Africa. YEVU, which means “white woman” in the local Ewe language, was a word that Anna Robertson heard daily as she navigated the lively and chaotic city of Accra. Anna spent 12 months living and working in the capital and was amazed at the history of traditional ‘wax’ print – the 100% cotton fabric worn on the streets in an array of riotous prints.

In a bid to connect the Australian buyer with the marketplace of West Africa, Anna partnered with a dedicated team of men and women tailors and seamstresses, operating their businesses at a grassroot level in Ghana. YEVU popped up for the first time in October 2013 in Sydney’s Surry Hills and the collection sold out within one week. 

YEVU approaches its design, sourcing and manufacturing in a way that attempts to maximise the benefits to people who they are working with in Ghana. This includes the textile manufacturers and wholesalers at various market places throughout Accra, local artisans and creatives, and the teams of small (mainly women led) seamstresses and tailors.

YEVU is also about creating a direct link between the textile and garment industry in West Africa, with (they hope) the rest of the world. Their aim is to make rare traditional prints contemporary and more accessible to a wider market.

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Unemployment in economically disadvantaged areas of Ghana is high and a stable income for small business owners can be difficult to come by. There are also multiple challenges that come with everyday operations including constant power cuts, water shortages, the depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi and constant fuel price increases. YEVU aims to create a sustainable livelihood for those they work with through creating economic and creative opportunities. They want people who buy YEVU to know that the garments have been handmade at a grassroot level in collaboration with small business owners, and be assured that fair wages, decent working conditions and transparency around business have been key priorities in all stages of YEVU’s production. 

In the future, YEVU wants its social impact to be felt more widely. They plan to focus on sustainability by providing technical training to seamstresses, whilst also teaching other valuable business skills to those we work with in Ghana. This will ensure both consistency and quality in manufacturing, whilst supporting and nurturing the skills of Ghanaian’s involved in YEVU’s production process.

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YEVU aims to celebrate the vibrancy, colour and chaos of West African wax print by offering simple and contemporary designs to a wider market for men and women. This is achieved while supporting and sustaining local industry and small businesses in Ghana, creating economic and creative opportunities.

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