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With Afrowaste, Nigerian Designer Dimeji Ilori Turns Discarded Clothes into One-Of-A-Kind Treasures

Motivated by the goal of reducing fashion waste, Nigerian designer, Dimeji Ilori, launched a line of clothing created from cast-offs and flea market finds. Under his label, Swish, he fashions stylish new garments from discarded clothing, which represent a fresh, upcycled take on the fusion of Western and African design. “The collection was inspired by the idea of waste reduction,” says the African fashion innovator. The Afrowaste collection plays on a fashion reality for much of the youth in Nigeria. “The typical Nigerian youth cannot afford an original designer T-shirt and jeans because they are expensive and many brands aren’t available in the country. So walking the streets of Lagos you’ll see many young Nigerians in neat second-hand clothing. Ranging from Levi’s jeans, to Tommy Hilfiger sweaters and Nike sneakers or Converse All Stars. It is always a beautiful, chaotic mixture of foreign leftovers with new.”