Ifeoma Ubby, better known as Ify, started OliveAnkara when she noticed a lack of African culture in Singapore — she couldn’t even find African fabric to make her wedding gown then! Now — close to two years in — OliveAnkara has grown from selling womenswear to kids and even a limited-edition series of menswear.
Ever since we created the label, we have always wanted to empower women, to give back to women and children.
There are many organisations out there with the mission of improving the quality of life for many female weavers and their families. As a result, artisans are given the opportunity to work on multiple projects that provide them with an income while developing their skills.
It is our hope that we can continue to expand their market in Asia so more women can improve their lives.
We are lucky to live where we live and do what we do, and it’s our duty to help others that are not as lucky.
As a small business owner,
I am driven by my passion for different cultures and by the love and appreciation I receive from people. The price for this satisfaction is hard work, dedication, and determination. But it’s all worth it because win or lose, I know I am giving everything I have in what I am doing.
Social responsibility is
Social responsibility is an obligation that every person or organisation should perform in order to benefit the society and the environment we live in.
Slow fashion brands may be more expensive than others for simple reasons: they focus more on quality over quantity and they are based on business models that take into account social and environmental responsibility rather than pure economic growth.
Our production approach is oriented towards two main concepts: we put quality and uniqueness above quantity and mass production, and to try our best to come as close as possible to the concept of zero waste. To keep fabric waste to a minimum, we use up to 97% of the material. Throwing away a lot of fabric that can be used for something else is a no-no for us. We use whatever is left from making clothes to make headwraps, headbands, bracelets, rings, and earrings.
The key to ethical fashion is not only to buy less, but also to buy smart. We can recycle or swap clothes to reduce the amount of textile waste we generate but we also need to learn how to shop smarter. That means not buying poorly made, on-trend garments that will go out of fashion in a matter of weeks.