Photography by Elena Cremona
The Earth Issue and Loutre collaborate with commonPROPAGANDA for SS22
It is no secret that the unique energy found within Africa's creative diaspora is globally unmatched. This is primarily because Africa has always existed as a melting pot of heritage and culture – mixing and blending a plethora of different identities into a stream of united African nations.
In March 2022, The Earth Issue partnered with UK-based sustainable fashion brand, Loutre, on a multifaceted campaign to highlight and support the community of commonPROPAGANDA and its agenda. In a comprehensive cultural and creative exchange, the overall campaign – curated by UK-based agency The Earth Issue, also included a t-shirt screen printing workshop and other educational endeavours, accompanying the editorial Loutre SS22 shoot.
This short project was extremely successful, largely facilitated by commonPROPAGANDA within different pockets of the Cape Town diaspora – transporting Cape Town youth culture to the world.
Elena Cremona, Creative Director and Head of Photography at The Earth Issue, states:
"Over a two week period all parties came together on site to exchange skills and ideas as a progressive connector of our worlds. The group met for talks and seminars with environmental activists, protest movements, indigenous communities, skaters and artists for this collaborative effort.
Accompanying Pia, founder and designer at Loutre, was her SS22 collection, a take on function and uniform inspired by the spirit of community recreation made from upcycled garments and low environmental impact material plus a hand screen printed shirt in collaboration with the collective."
I recently stumbled across an article on Vogue Business which highlights the next-gen African designers currently raising investor capital and global attention. Benissan of Vogue poignantly states, "As for all emerging designers, scaling a business can be challenging without finance, contacts and a strong business foundation. Now, investors are beginning to support Africa’s fledgling fashion industry, with broader support from the UN-backed Ethical Fashion Initiative."
The DIY screenprinting workshop, hosted by Raeez Kilshaw, founder of local media and production startup ‘shyne4eva’, guided attendees through a screen printing session of the Loutre x Earth Issue x commonPROPAGANDA ‘Community of Enquiry’ tee.
The design is a reference to a commonly used graphic guide for sustainable design; two circles overlap, one representing ‘good for the planet’, the other ‘good for the people’. The overlap represents the ideal of sustainable design. In this tee, the ‘Community of Enquiry’ occupies that space, not as a solution to sustainability but rather as an ongoing commitment towards one.
The Earth Issue and Loutre further mention that proceeds from the limited-edition T-shirts will be used to fund commonPROPAGANDAS’s future events, "where leaders in arts, academia and culture meet with youth activists to foster creative and critical thinking skills in order to motivate social responsibility and political participation within the community."
This entire campaign really depicts the quality of work which you manage to obtain once you create cross-border collaboration with South African youth-driven independent creative organisations. The Earth Issue and Loutre are setting the bar and the example for other overseas creative establishments to connect with the South African creative diaspora and start working.
It's like globalisation manifesting right in front of your eyes.
Models chosen for the campaign are all friends, family members, as well as key figures within a bourgeoning creative scene in Cape Town. They're also cast from within the organisation – to fully embrace a global and communal mindset.
These models included: Iviwe Yekani, Milasande Mbiza, Jarod Gaidien, Kyra Wilkinson, Robin Jordaan,
Jan Cowen-Scholtz, Fatimah-Zahra Hendricks, Bisimwa siblings, Jeremie Bisimwa, Dylan Chiro, Alexander Jones III, Sean Fry, Kiara Burrows, Carol Khaas and Idris Noordien.
Credits and cast:
Assistant Creative Director – Jeremie Bisimwa @bisimwa.karani Photographer – Elena Cremona @elenacremona Video – Elena Cremona & Loutre @elenacremona @loutre.co Stylist – Jeremie Bisimwa @bisimwa.karani
Workshops – Denisha Anand, Rose-Anne Reynolds, Raeez Kilshaw
Cast – Iviwe Yekani, Milasande Mbiza, Jarod Gaidien, Kyra Wilkinson, Robin Jordaan, Jan Cowen-Scholtz, Fatimah-Zahra Hendricks, Bisimwa siblings, Jeremie Bisimwa, Dylan Chiro, Alexander Jones III, Sean Fry, Kiara Burrows, Carol Khaas, Idris Noordien
@unbleachedminds @bl33d__ @mmilasande @k369tw_ @ruobing_j @youngfurniture @ffhendricks @bisimwa.karani @dylan.chiro @alexjonesiii @glockee_ @kiarajamiburrows @carolkhaas @__m33k @theplanthropologist Graphic Design – Dipo Kayode-Osi, Loutre @thechocolatdip @loutre.co Supported by Polaroid @polaroid