Here's How Sustainable Brand, African Creative Hub, Is Changing The African Fashion Scene By Upcycling Waste Products
Waste products in communities are one of the many ways in which our environment is polluted. But recycling and upcycling these waste products go a long way in creating a sustainable world for people to live in. And that's exactly what the African Creative Hub does.
The African Creative Hub is a social enterprise company with a mission to create a sustainable world without waste by educating and upcycling waste into functional, durable and affordable products towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals . This company was founded by Jumoke Olowookere
Jumoke Olowookere, the founder and creative director of the African Creative Hub is an ecopreneur who is passionate about enlightening people in the best practices around waste management. She has experience of over 10 years in the education sector which has helped her in engaging children in numerous projects.
How The African Creative Hub Was Birthed
During her maternity leave, after giving birth to her twins about 12 years ago, Jumoke realized the amount of waste that was being generated in her house alone and this motivated her to research on waste management.
"What should I do with these wastes? Why do I have to throw them away?" - Jumoke Olowookere
After a series of events, including quitting her job, she started selling books, and buying a book on making art crafts got her hooked on art crafts. By practicing, Jumoke began to explore the different forms of craft, and this is when the company was birthed.
Operations, Activities And Products Of The African Creative Hub
The African Creative Hub has impacted many children's lives, both in primary and secondary schools. In the past 2 years, the company has been able to train over 22,000 children, 1500 teachers and 2,000 youths in waste upcycling education. The African Creative Hub also partnered with Nike Art Gallery in celebration of the International Women's Day to train women in upcycling.
The company has been able to build over 45 playgrounds in primary schools in both Oyo and Lagos states using wastes products. With activities such as the Creative Eco Summer Camp, Creative Eco Hand Day Competition, World Clean Up Day Events and Keep Ibadan Clean Events, the company has been able to train children from different communities free of charge. They also organize competitions around fashion, art and science all based on waste products.
What products are being made from waste in this company?
The products they make are regular products, which require a lot of research to be done in order to know how to incorporate waste products into them. Fashionable and creative accessories like earrings, hand beads, rings and necklaces are made from waste products. The waste products she uses for these accessories are bottle caps, buttons, with a touch of wire works, and beads. They also make furniture from used car tyres and plastic bottle wastes.
"At the end of the day, we're all about creating a sustainable world without wastes".
Challenges Faced As A Sustainable And Eco-Friendly Company In Nigeria
Sourcing for funds is usually an issue, as we have not received any funding from any company apart from GTBank when we did the PP40 Waste To Playground Program 2 years ago. Although partnering with big companies like Lafarge, MTN and Dangote to create sustainability events in schools around their community has helped us grow too.
She also said that getting more hands and volunteers to help sort and separate wastes instead of just throwing everything into dustbins or gutters is another challenge.
Effect Of The African Creative Hub On Climate Change
As we all know, climate change is part of the environmental problems we face in the world, so, how does a sustainabiliy and eco-friendly brand help in this fight?
"For each waste we are able to save from ending up in landfills and oceans, we are contributing to the reduction of climate change. So, African Creative Hub will definitely have a huge long term effect".
Sustainable and eco-friendly brands, like African creative Hub, help to prevent and control environmental waste. Another brand who is in the practice of using waste to create fashion is Jokelinks, a fashion designer who makes aso-oke fabrics out of pure water nylons.