Pine Kazi shoes. Picture: Supplied
Pine Kazi shoes. Picture: Supplied

Kenyan Women turn fruit waste into eco-friendly footwear

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Mar 31, 2021

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Fashionomics Africa, a contest that honours African fashion brands working to change how fashion is produced, bought, used and recycled to encourage more sustainable consumer behaviour, has announced its winner for the Fashionomics Africa competition.

Pine Kazi, a Kenyan brand that converts pineapple leaf and recycled rubber into fashionable footwear, won the $2 000 (about R30 000) cash prize.

The women-led brand will have the opportunity to showcase its creation in online events, share insights on key sustainability challenges facing the industry and will receive a certificate.

Olivia Okinyi, Angela Musyoka and Mike Langa, who are co-founders of the brand, will also receive mentoring and networking opportunities from competition collaborators.

Okinyi said: “Pine Kazi is greatly humbled to be the winners of the first Fashionomics Africa contest in Africa. It is indeed an honour to the Kenyan people and the African continent at large.”

Musyoka added: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage and the patience to pursue them.”

Out of the 110 entries received, the judges were impressed with Pine Kazi’s innovative and sustainable shoes.

Brendan McCarthy, who is one of the judges and also a programme director at the New York-based Parsons School of Design, said: “You transformed waste materials from pineapples into profound new textiles and absolutely beautiful new shoes.”

The upper of the shoe is made from pineapple leaf textile, while the inside is lined with organic cotton. The sole is made from sisal plant fibre, fitted with recycled tyre underneath.

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