LALESSO IS A LUXURY AFRICAN FASHION AND LIFESTYLE BRAND. IT SUPPORTS ENTIRELY TRANSPARENT, SUSTAINABLE, ECO AND ETHICAL PRODUCTION FACILITIES IN KENYA AND SOUTH AFRICA. CO CREATORS ALICE HEUSSER AND OLIVIA KENNAWAY SEEK INSPIRATION FROM THE VIBRANT EAST AFRICAN KHANGA CLOTH IN THE PRINT RICH DESIGNS. THE EXCLUSIVELY SUMMER LABEL ENGULFS AN EFFORTLESS SENSE OF FREEDOM THROUGH IT’S CLASSIC YET UNIQUELY DISTINGUISHABLE SILHOUETTES.
Alice and Olivia are children of Africa and have been wrapped in its mesmerising fabrics since birth. Having met whilst studying Fashion Design in Cape Town, the pair were inspired to start Lalesso after travelling to the remote Island of Lamu in the North of Kenya where the coastal Swahili women adorn the khanga cloth with a unique vibrancy and graciousness.
Kenya is a country overflowing with raw talent, incredible design aesthetics and beautiful people yet over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. This was another compelling factor that urged the pair to form the brand and use the business to help provide skills training, create employment with a fair wage that will not only aid survival but also allow them to considerably improve their standard of living.
Lalesso has been instrumental in the start up and support of Kenyan clothing factories which have boosted the income and livelihoods of the employees. Lalesso has production ties to the reputably sustainable factories Soko www.soko-kenya.com and Wildlife Works www.wildlifeworks.com, both situated in Maungu, Kenya.
Lalesso also uses the creative talent of Kenyan artisans in many aspects of the designs, incorporating various design initiatives and supporting them in doing so. These include beaded bracelets on the swing tags, hand carved coconut buttons, masai beading, brass work among others.
Since 2013 Lalesso has expanded its production sources to South Africa. The South African garment industry has been under heavy threat from the East with many facilities having closed down and many skilled industry workers being made redundant. Lalesso is encouraging and supporting the threatened industry and it’s skilled work force through production in both Cape Town and Durban.
Lalesso is also fully committed to the environment and is one of the first totally carbon zero fashion brands in the world today. Climate change is one of the biggest issues currently facing humanity and our planet and without the contribution of individuals and businesses, no matter how big or small, it poses an ever looming threat to our future. Carbon Offsetting is the practice of reducing emissions through a carbon-saving project in order to balance out emissions from a given source. Lalesso carbon offsets through CO2 Balance, an award winning and dedicated company that not only uses it’s effort to make an impact on the environment but also takes measures to make a social impact on East African communities.