Behind the Brand: A. Bernadette?

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20161113_132046NiLu is about making sure everyone knows who in the community makes Harlem proud. We’ve got our eye on A. Bernadette and their sustainable fashion line.

Fashion disruption is the intersection of trending style + attitude + purpose + creativity. Two sisters, Andrea and Amberle Reyes, are a product of that. Their sustainable fashion company, A. Bernadette, partnering with Ugandan tailors, shop owners and market dwellers to fuse recycled materials with African weaving techniques and Harlem style to make bags, accessories, clothing and housewares.

 

Giving Back
A.Bernadette Ugandan artisans are not only paid competitively, they work from home, not in sweat factories. Sisters and co-founders, Andrea and Amberle organized Ugandan women to form the community-based Jinja Empowerment Organization, which helps in the design and production of their goods with zero post-production waste. The materials they use include recycled fabric, plastic and even styrofoam donations.

Thinking Ahead
So what does it mean to be “sustainable”? It’s thinking about what kind of world is going to be around for our kids and grandkids, basically. Sustainable fashion means being conscious of not blowing money and materials just for fashion’s sake. In other words, upcycling. Of course, New York is the capital of the fashion. But that prize came with a cost of 11 million tons of clothing waste a year for America. Of course, a lot of that comes right out of NYC.

Empowerment. Ethics Sustainability. A long way from the cookie-cutter practices of the fashion world today.

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Let’s not get things twisted. I still enjoy shopping and buying cloths I don’t need. But my closet is busting at the seams with cloths I need to purge or recycle. Maybe I should think twice about buying another bag. I’m torn! But knowing my purchase is supporting women economic empowerment is a no brainer.

Featured Products
Cooking Bag. I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t on my radar but the more I looked at it has a purchase. Great for taking your pot luck dish to friend’s house. Keeping the macaroni and cheese hot will waiting for Thanksgiving turkey to finishing baking.

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Visit NiLu or their online store for bracelets, scarfs, bags and incredible blankets.

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