By Daniela Degrassi
As Alex Perry wrote in Rent Your Wedding a few weeks ago, the wedding industry is one of the most polluting of our times. While always on the look out for vegan friendly bridal wear, at The Kind Bride we hold in special consideration the brands that are committed to sustainable practices, and the designers that are thinking outside the box, able to create fashion that can be repurposed. This is way Elexiay immediately caught my attention. If you’re planning an exotic, laid back beach style wedding check out Elexiay handcrafted crochet garments, they are such an easy re-wear!
Crochet is an ancient skill which has been confined for years to certain garments. Elexiay, is redefining crochet from being known as ‘grandma’s clothing’. A few days ago, I spoke with Elyon Adede, a young designer from Nigeria and the force behind this new reality of African fashion.
“In 2016, there were discussions in one of my classes about climate change and there was also a recession in Nigeria. I saw how the recession had affected communities around me negatively, I decided to start a fashion brand that was sustainable and impactful. I did some research and Elexiay was birthed”.
Adede’s concept is deep rooted in highlighting Nigerian craftmanship keeping traditions alive but infusing a modern twist to her designs.
“Nigeria is a country blessed with rich history, heritage and culture. At Elexiay, we are telling the Nigerian story through clothing made ethically. We currently focus on the art of crochet. With knowledge passed down from generation to generation, we are skillfully making clothes without machines with the aim of producing clothes that cause little to no harm to the environment. All our pieces are handmade, recyclable and custom made, they are made only on demand. Craftsmanship and women empowerment are vital at Elexiay. Our artisans are all women and they are fairly paid. We also only use only locally produced yarn in the production of our garments”.
For your bridesmaid or honeymoon, Elexiay has a few more colorful options to choose from on their online shop: green, pink, fuchsia and more.
What’s next for Elexiay?
“Sustainability is significant for fashion, because the textiles and fashion industry is among the leading industries that affect the environment negatively. Elexiay’s vision is to research more forms of Nigerian crafts, arts and skills that can be useful in the production of clothes and helping the fashion industry become more ethical. We are also currently researching the creation of yarn from weeds”.
An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.