by ROSE TOMALIN
Our ‘Meet the Maker’ series dives deep into the details from the incredible brands, artists and artisans as part of our Brands In Residence edit at LOVE BRAND & Co. We caught up with the co-founder and director of Tandi Fashion, Tandi.
Tandi draws on her East African heritage with the colours and tradition of the Kanga fabric and the East African women who would wear a particular dress for a particular occasion. Each one has a beautiful message in Swahili at the bottom. For example the African Emerald dress says “no one truly knows you, like your mother does.” The quote epitomises the personality and unique nature of Tandi Fashion.
Tandi works with an African NGO called Mother 2 Mothers focusing on empowering mothers living with HIV to bring hope to other mothers. Alongside Mothers 2 Mothers Tandi brought support for women living with HIV. Mothers 2 Mothers has incredibly managed to offer these women jobs as frontline health workers. They have also helped more than 11 million women and children in sub-Saharan Africa by offering them life-changing medical services. This is only a snippet of what they do!
Tandi tells us of her inspirational initiative of offering paid internships in the UK to women in BAME groups that are keen to get experience in the fashion industry. She explains that “to educate, empower, support and lift up women is key”. “The idea goes back to my childhood and growing up in awe of my mother’s beauty”, Tandi describes emotionally. “All of my dresses reveal and truly show this through their wonderful and bold prints.”
Now, let’s talk about Kanga! All of the dresses are made from this African material. Kanga is 100% Cotton, normally sold as two matching joined pieces. The Kanga is more than a fabric, it marks the rhythm of Swahili life. Tandi chose this particular material for her dresses not only due to the heritage around it but the personable aspects that come alongside it. The more it is washed, the softer it feels. It really is a material that adapts to the body living in it, making it individual and special to you.
Shop the full collection of Tandi dresses in store at LOVE BRAND & Co., 5 Park Walk.