Social justice is environmental justice. As a fashion brand we take responsibility for our environmental impact on this planet in a holistic way. We constantly improve our sustainability measures as there is always room to do better. We strongly believe that sharing information is the foundation for growing and learning together. 




Fashion brands often highlight their sustainability actions but keep their challenges to themselves. We have decided to outline our journey in multiple stages for you to understand where we come from, what we already have set in place and what our goals are for the future. 

In sharing this we aim to inspire and raise awareness, as well as open the conversation with you. We believe it takes collective effort to shape a world in which we take good care of our planet and every being is equally respected.

As a company we want to support organizations that are dedicated to making sustainable change. So 10% of the proceeds of our t-shirts is donated to an independent organization that fights racism and support diversity, inclusivity and equality in the Netherlands and abroad. 

Please send us your questions or suggestions if you have any after reading about our sustainability measures. We would love to hear your thoughts!





The most important reason our founder Sivan started AFRIEK was because she wanted to create an example for a new way of working between continents and cultures. After being confronted with her own bias, Sivan was eager to play a part in the ongoing work to decolonize the relationship between Africa and the West (read more about our founder here). Starting off in Rwanda, our first and main focus was always to work together based on equality. We went ‘beyond’ fair payment and good working conditions for the tailors, focusing on a democratic work environment where open conversation and mutual learning are central. 

All humans are equally worthy and should be treated equally and fairly, in a way that allows everyone to live their authentic lives.



Cross-cultural collaboration is central to AFRIEK's DNA, and as such it is embodied in our team composition. Whilst we have a preference for collaborating with African based creatives, our team is composed of collaborators across the globe, from our store in Kigali, Rwanda, where our Rwandan tailors and production team are based, to our associates and consultants from countries including Nigeria, Germany, The Netherlands, UK, France, and the USA. From a gender perspective, led by a female founder, our brand team is very diverse with women making up over 60% of the team. In Rwanda, our production team is predominantly male, owing to the gendered role of tailors in the region. Nonetheless, we are working hard to create as many opportunities for women within our Rwanda production team.

We welcome collaborators from all backgrounds and do not discriminate against sexuality, religious beliefs, or any other identifiers, holding space for each member of our team to flourish as themselves. We also adopt a non-hierarchical structure, ensuring that a lot of key decisions are made collectively, and not solely by the founder.


Conscious Fashion

We live in a fast paced society and fast fashion is a product of our time. This means producing cheap clothing rapidly by mass-market retailers to the latest trends, often producing much more clothes than demanded by the consumers. This has become a crucial issue in terms of overproduction and underpaid labour, causing detrimental harm to the mental and physical health of a lot of people, and increasing waste while exploiting our planet. According to a UN report, around 10% of the global carbon emissions are produced through the fast fashion industry, which is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined (source: UN Environment). After roughly 10 uses the clothing piece is replaced with a newer and trendier item. Throwing away barely worn clothes, contributes to the 21 billion tons of textiles that are sent to some landfills each year (source: UN). 

As a fashion brand, we know that we are part of the culture of inherently creating waste. The reasons why we pursue our mission through fashion is therefore three-fold:  

  1. We want to offer an alternative that is much better than what is on the market today - in terms of quality, sustainability and ethical production. 
  2. We use fashion to make a statement and create change by supporting an international community of change-makers. 
  3. Thirdly, we use our practical approach on cross-cultural collaboration as a case study for other companies, both sustainably and ethically. 

We encourage our consumers to buy consciously, use their items well for a long period, repair them when broken and recycle packaging and the garment at the end. We do not encourage over consumption. A kind reminder to ourselves and everyone: LET'S SLOW DOWN.





Organic dyes

For our collection in 2022 we plant-color our garments. We keep you posted!


Fair Trade

As our brand is rooted in Rwanda, we have developed an equal and collaborative approach within our community. As we believe that every being is equally valuable, we make sure our entire production is fairly traded. We make sure our tailors are paid above the industry average, are acknowledged throughout the consumer journey, and that their work and culture is appreciated. 

Additionally, we make sure that companies we collaborate with share the same values in terms of fair trade and other aspects. We want to create and support as much as we can a safe and healthy working space in any step of our production.

Our suppliers for the shirt campaign are Mantis world - Code of Conduct (UK + Tanzania) and Loenatix (The Netherlands).


Organic Cotton

Since 2019 we shifted our focus to organic cotton as we prefer local production, we collaborate with a local and organic cotton company in North-East Tanzania, as well as a local mill in Rwanda for the production of our fabrics. 

Cotton Production
Our founder has personally visited both cotton cooperatives BioRe and BioSustain and met with the CEO’s and the farmers. Knowing that both companies were set up with the intention to support the farmers in growing organic cotton in a holistic way that benefits the planet - through crop rotation and no use of toxic pesticides - and the people, meaning education on sustainability and guaranteed buying of the cotton. Additionally, the organizations are certified with OEKO-TEX ensuring us that these are the best organizations to collaborate with. 

Cotton manufacturing
For the small collection we are producing, it is hard to find a factory that has low minimum order quantities. We work with the only local mill in Rwanda, where the cotton is spun, woven, treated and printed. This is the first time in a long while that they work with organic cotton, but we hope to expand this together in the future. Our manufacturer is UTEXRWA (Rwanda).



To avoid overproduction, we design and produce small collections. Additionally, our collection is partly made-to-order, so we balance preorders with shop orders and thus avoid overproduction. 



In 2008 Rwanda banned plastic bags as one of the first countries in the world. This has inspired and encouraged us to shift towards a plastic free production and packaging (source - PlasticOceans.org)

For the garment, we substituted our buttons with Corozo from Gruppo Uniesse, our labels are made of organic cotton and OEKO-TEX certified ink from the EE Label Factory. Our tees are made by an external company that uses certified organic cotton. We are still researching how to substitute the polyester sewing thread in both our shirts and our garments. At the moment the sewing thread is made from recycled plastic bottles, also known as rPET, and our supplier is A&E Gütermann. To explain this matter, polyester is a widely used sewing thread as it assures strength and quality for the garments, finding an alternative turns out to be a challenge that we are very willing to take on.

Our suppliers are EE Label Factory for our labels (The Netherlands), Gruppo Uniesse for our buttons (Italy), A&E Gütermann (Germany) and Mantis World for our T-shirts (UK + Tanzania). 



We are dedicated to vegan production because we believe no animals should be exploited for our consumption. 

The only animal product that was in some of our garments were the horn buttons. In our research we found three possible alternatives:

  1. Buttons made of rest materials of shells - not vegan.
  2. Buttons made of recycled plastic - not plastic-free.
  3. Buttons made of stone nuts (Corozo) from Ecuador - longer shipping distance, thus a higher carbon footprint.

It felt like a dilemma choosing between the buttons. We chose the third option which would increase our carbon footprint because the raw materials are harvested in Ecuador and then produced in Italy, before shipped to Rwanda to become part of the garment. Our priorities are producing vegan and plastic free clothes, thus we chose the natural stone nut buttons that are harvested in ethical and sustainable circumstances. Also these buttons are very durable and don’t leak toxic matter into the water. Our button supplier is Gruppo Uniesse.


Compostable Packaging

We limit our packaging to minimal waste by only wrapping the garment in paper made from 30% recycled materials and the remaining is acid-free pulp. The tissue paper is printed with soy-based inks. All materials are FSC-certified, environment friendly and thus easy to recycle. The sticker contains non-toxic adhesive, which makes them biodegradable, compostable and recyclable. We send your purchase to you in a 100% compostable mailer, thus you can literally throw all the packaging in your compost bin with your fruits and veggie scraps. 

Our packaging suppliers are No Issue (Tissue paperStickersCompostable shipping bag)The postcards are printed by Vistaprint. You can check their sustainability and fair trade approach here. We know this can be improved and will do so for our next order. 


We’re all about the win-win. Therefore success is only success when it is mutual and everyone is winning.




We listen and we learn, 
We co-create and we celebrate.


Water waste management 

We strive to work together with the fabric mill in Rwanda to manage and reduce their water waste in the future to make the production of our organic cotton even more sustainable.



Local button production

At the moment our buttons come from Ecuador and are vegan. To lower our carbon footprint we aim to buy our buttons locally and vegan in prospect. 



Circular fashion 

Another aim is to provide opportunities to recycle and reuse our fashion. That way the produced clothes are kept in a circular movement in which they are produced once but can be up-cycled and worn multiple times.