From refugee to royalty: Sierra Leone designer champions ethical fashion
Two decades after fleeing Sierra Leone to escape a brutal civil war, former child refugee Euphemia-Ann Sydney-Davies is preparing to meet British royalty at London Fashion Week.
The fashion designer will present one of her creations – a three-piece suit made of Ghanaian cloth – next week at an event hosted by Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace.
The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, spearheaded by Livia Firth who co-founded sustainability brand consultancy Eco-Age, connects designers and artisans from Britain and many of its former colonies to showcase and champion sustainable fashion.
The scheme pairs up-and-coming designers like Sydney-Davies with fashion giants – from Britain’s Stella McCartney to New Zealand’s Karen Walker, and big global brands such as Burberry.
Major fashion brands and leading designers should take note, and strive to be ethical and sustainable, Sydney-Davies said.
“We’re the ones producing the clothes,” the 31-year-old said from the living room of her home in Surrey, southern England.
Photo courtesy of Cherie Blair Foundation.