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José Hendo is a multiple Award-winning designer. Designer by Royal appointment, she is the go-to designer of Ugandan Royalty and government officials having designed for four Royal Weddings thus far. Her collection featured at EcoLuxe London, London Fashion Week, Berlin Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week and Kampala Fashion Week as well as the Ugandan Museum to raving reviews.
José Hendo is known for her prolific and cutting edge bark cloth collection “Resonance”. The label promotes the use of eco textiles, for example organic and recycled materials. It further supports ethical trading and raises awareness about the environmental issues affected by the fashion industry.
Through sustainable fashion José Hendo is making a positive contribution to society. For her this was the only way she could make sense of and find her place within the fashion industry.
This is reinforced via José Hendo’s apprenticeships, work experience, free and paid workshops as a way of giving back to the community.
Hendo facilitates these workshops and tutorials at her schools, studio and her local library, whilst creating awareness of sustainable fashion. Each garment sold sees a percentage given to charity.
The label is known for its innovative bark cloth creations and it’s sustainable approach through exclusive use of end-of-line, up-cycled and organic materials. She is a recognised expert and prolific speaker on bark cloth and sustainable fashion. A member of Fellowship 500, Ethical Fashion Forum & Centre of Sustainable Fashion José Hendo was a featured speaker at TEDxEuston.
The labels studio ‘José Original’ also produces garments for other recognised designers including samples and complete collections shown at London Fashion Week, and production runs sold in boutiques and outlets such as TOPSHOP and SELFRIDGES.
José says, “Through my research, I learnt what happens through the life-cycle of a garment: from growing the crop, making the cloth, garment production to customer then to landfill and recycling.
Designing clothes now requires an awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry. That’s why I combine good design with sustainability, using the 3Rs Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; this has become the cornerstone of my label.”
Hendo is on a mission to make bark cloth work alongside mainstream fabrics. Bark cloth is a centuries old technique, one that is recognised by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
It is considered the oldest manmade fabric and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Material in 2005. “Bark cloth is produced in my country Uganda so it has a personal as well as cultural reverence to me and my ancestry which I am honouring in my work”, explains Hendo.
José Hendo was nominated to represent Uganda at World Fashion Week Paris 2014.
José Hendo launched its R3 campaign in February 2014. She was inspired to start the R3 campaign to go against the throw-away culture. José Hendo works closely with organisations that address ethical and environmental issues, using the corner stones that she adheres to. She is currently in the process on setting up projects to working more closely with the communities in Uganda.
After receiving sponsorship from TianDe (link: http://www.mytiande.co.uk) for her solo showcase in September 2014, the label now collaborates with TianDe creating ethical products for which a tree will be planted with each item sold.