Sacred upcycles old saris into luxe modestwear

22 June 2017 - 11:54 By EMMA JORDAN
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A piece from modest clothing line, Sacred.
A piece from modest clothing line, Sacred.
Image: Supplied

Supported by the Islamic Fashion and Design Council, and founded by 38-year-old Nina McLamb of Gothenburg, Sweden, the design label Sacred is a cross-continental collaboration.

Described as "luxury modestwear", the collection of silk kimonos and kaftans is made in partnership with the South African nonprofit organisation Saris for Change.

After a talk at a conference in Sweden last year, McLamb approached Rayana Edwards, the founder and director of Saris for Change.

Founded in 2016, the Johannesburg-based initiative not only upcycles discarded saris into kimonos and kaftans, it also encourages the women who create these garments to help shape the designs.

"It was important to me there was an element of sustainability in my collection," says McLamb. "I met Rayana Edwards at an event in Sweden where she was speaking and was very impressed by what she is doing."

Working across the globe has its challenges - meetings are held via Skype and, says McLamb, it took some time for everyone to be on the same page, but now everyone has a clear understanding of each other's wants and needs.

"I was able to visit South Africa earlier this year and visit the factory and meet the women there," says the designer. "It was a wonderful experience that helped me understand more about the process and how Saris for Change works."

Sacred- sustainable luxury and modest elegance, made with Love in Africa💕

A post shared by Sacred (@sacred_design) on

McLamb says many women want to empower themselves by choosing an alternative style.

"I believe that many women are looking for an alternative in today's society that focuses so much on appearance," she says.

"For me modesty is a form of empowerment, giving me as a woman the power over what I choose to show or conceal.

"Modest fashion is on the rise and is here to stay."

As is sustainable fashion, making educated informal choices about how and why clothing is created.

Sacred will hold a fashion show in Torino, Italy, at the end of the month, and will launch a website, sacred.se, in the third quarter of the year.

For more information, check out the Sacred lookbook

• This article was originally published in The Times.

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