By  on March 25, 2019

Heritage, tragedy, future: These are the drivers that inspired a new capsule collection codesigned by Vancouver-based sustainable fashion brand Obakki and a community of women living in the world’s largest refugee camp, Bidi Bidi, in Uganda.

The opportunity arose when Obakki — and its philanthropic counterpart, the Obakki Foundation, a registered charity focused on projects that provide clean water and education in Africa — sought to work with women in Bidi Bidi to create a scarf that was launched last year. Treana Peake, founder of Obakki and the Obakki Foundation, worked directly with the women in Bidi Bidi to codesign the item: Its pattern, centered on designs developed by the women living in Bidi Bidi, illustrates a story of hardship, hope and strength through cow imagery, which conveys the importance of cattle camp culture; snakes and scorpions, symbolic of a civil war that resulted in tragedies, and agricultural symbols that represent growth and endurance. The imagery coalesces with figures of women illustrated throughout to create a striking textile layered with meaning and purpose. And the scarf’s pattern was painted by the women in Bidi — the design collaboration was their first time touching paint, according to Obakki.

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