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Pioneering Sustainable Fashion in Cameroon: How Margo’s Mode Recycles Waste for Art & Clothing

Ripped clothes. A discolored dress. The washed-out T-shirt. The worn-out jeans. The skirt that wasn’t your color. The ruined jacket. 

What do we do with all the unwanted?

The fashion industry emits more than 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases each year, accounting for more than 10% of the world’s carbon footprint.

Pioneering Sustainable Fashion in Cameroon: How Margo’s Mode Recycles Waste for Art & Clothing

Today, more and more brands are beginning to make the transition to sustainable fashion.

When thinking of sustainable and ethical luxury fashion in Cameroon, Margo’s Mode is the first name that comes to mind.

What is Sustainable Fashion?

At the most basic level, sustainable fashion involves clothing, shoes, and other accessories that are produced and used in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

“Green,” “earth-friendly,” “ethical” and “environmental-friendly” are all words that get thrown around often to mean the same thing as eco-friendly. 

At Margo’s, we prefer to use the term “sustainable,” meaning there’s at least one specific way our products benefit the environment, not just now but in the long run. 

Popular parts of sustainable fashion include:

  • Ethical Fashion: Production, working conditions, fair-trade
  • Circular Fashion: Recycling, upcycling, thrifting
  • Slow Fashion: Sharing, renting
  • Conscious Fashion: Eco-friendly, green fashion

For us, sustainability means using the Earth’s resources in a way that future generations can meet their needs. That’s why everything we do at Margo’s is aimed at leaving the planet better than we found it. 

Our approach to sustainable fashion creates jobs as we work with small communities including markers, artisans, craftsmen, and artists to reduce our carbon footprint.

Since launching in 2017, Margo’s Mode has remained one of the pioneers of eco-friendly and ethical fashion.

The award-winning Cameroonian fashion brand has attracted a lot of media attention with its efforts to protect the environment through sustainable fashion. Our designs – from conception to production – take into account raw materials and behaviors that will not harm the environment.

How Sustainable is Margo’s Mode?

Having fun with fashion without destroying the earth and its resources is possible.

We are constantly exploring and experimenting with new sustainable materials and technology. We use organic cotton, ethically sourced linen and satin, recycled plastic bottles (poly fabric), and recyclable materials for packaging.

Our approach to fashion takes into account sustainability at every stage of the production process.

Sourcing

After finalizing our design concepts, we take deliberate, painstaking efforts to source biodegradable, non-toxic, and other sustainable materials for the project such as organic cotton, linen, and satin. We get cotton from the North of Cameroon and Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital. 

At Margo’s, we’re very picky, despite the limited organic alternatives in Cameroon which also make the process expensive. Yet, we’ve chosen planet and legacy over pollution and profit. After assembling the right raw materials, we do some more sketches before moving into production.

Production

Organic can be expensive. Yet, we’re committed to producing sustainable clothes and keeping our planet safe for all. 

During the production process, we take into account how much water and energy is needed to clean any piece of fabric. We also avoid using any chemicals that are harmful to the environment. 

We practice hand sewing as opposed to using machines with the culture of hand embroidery on the P Set, aimed at reducing our carbon footprint. 

Working with small communities like markers, artists, and artisans to produce pieces in raw art, our hand painting gives meaning to clothes and reduces fast throwaway into the environment. At Margo’s we use fashion as a tool for positive social and environmental change, creating jobs for these communities we work with.

Packaging

Margo’s is carbon-neutral, starting with our packaging. All packaging, from manufacturer to consumer, is 100% recyclable and plastic-free. 

As opposed to using plastic, we package all our products using papers that decompose without using chemicals. 

After delivering each product, we take it a step further to educate our customers and the public on the benefits of recycling. We work with volunteers to collect waste that can be recycled into useful products.

Art

We should buy clothes with stories, clothes we can treasure and keep for a long time, clothes that are durable and not easily thrown away. At Margo’s, our clothes tell African stories. And they never go away.

For this reason, we choose only high-quality materials to make sure the final product is of the highest standard. In the end, we want our clothes to stay with you for as long as possible.

Our hand embroidery on clothes means they can be reused in other art forms like framing over-worn clothes into home decor statements. This way, we reduce carbon emissions while still making our homes look attractive.

While we put sustainability at the center of our decision-making, we also know the importance of the perfect fit for any piece of clothing. We work hard to make sure that our clothes are treasured and flatter all genders and shapes.

Ready to Become a Sustainable Fashionista?

Whether you have started, or are planning to become a sustainable fashionista, fostering sustainability principles is a lot more than shopping for organic fabrics.

Shipping your over-worn clothes back to us for recycling and framing them into home decor statements is a huge part of the sustainability process. If you want to get involved, you can start by shopping for sustainable clothes or contacting us if you need to frame your old clothes into beautiful works of art.

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