One Colour

So What Is Next?

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If you have been following our journey over the last few weeks, months, or even years, you will know that One Colour was founded on the premise that on-going trade over aid is of more long term use to those living in extreme poverty.

So, what is next for One Colour, given this is still our core belief.

To find out how this belief will continue to emerge into action, please visit www.kenanadownunder.com.au where you will to see another beautiful organisation in action, in Kenya, the Kenana Knitters. One Colour (with Kenana Down Under) is the very happy and proud Australian and New Zealand distributor for this amazing group.

And, should you ever wish to get in touch, for any reason, please send an email to:

enquiries@onecolour.com

OR

visit our JOURNAL page from time to time, or the facebook page, or the instagram feed, as we will be posting to these platforms from time to time.

Wishing you all the most wonderful journey forward, in whatever way you choose to travel.

xx

Path after a storm

Water

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So glad I was able to capture these pics while on my morning swing around the block.

I often try not to look down too much as it's great to look up and breathe deeply. But look what I would have missed if I had only been looking up. The colours, the textures, the moisture, and if you were there with me you would have heard the squelch of my feet on the path and maybe the sound of the stronger flow of the little creek as it carried the storm water away. And then there is the rich smell of wet earth, a reminder of the soaking rain that falls to soften the ground and encourage plants to grow.

It was a good walk!

Fashionably Numb (Canberra) SATURDAY 11 NOVEMBER - An Invitation

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TWILIGHT ETHICAL DESIGNER MARKET & ETHICAL INDUSTRY PANEL EVENT

Pure Pod invites you to our Design Canberra & Fashion Revolution event: Fashionably Numb - Ethical Fashion Industry Panel.

TWILIGHT ETHICAL DESIGNER MARKET -

2:00 pm - 5:30 pm
FREE  & open to the public

1 Dairy Road - Dairy Road Precinct - Fyshwick- Canberra ACT

A Pure Pod interactive arts & sustainable fashion twilight evening with ethical designers, up cyclers, recyclers, ARTISTS and textile designers.

The event will feature ethical designers of clothing, accessories, products and textiles, up cycling and mending stalls, Eco stylists Nina Gbor & Faye De Lanty, stalls from ANU Textiles and the CIT. An interactive public textile art piece made from recycled denim jeans from the Salvos and The Green Shed. Come & listen to cool vibes, be entertained, beer tasting and yummy food in a spring twilight evening. Sponsored by Rolfe Classic BMW, Salvation Army, Fashion Revolution, Peppermint Magazine and MG Cultural Program.


ETHICAL INDUSTRY PANEL & TWILIGHT ETHICAL DESIGNER MARKET - 

Our second event of the day is a ticketed evening event from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Meet & greet the designers

Immerse yourself in our Twilight Ethical Designer Market with local Australian designers in a more intimate event for ticket holders only.

Shop & chat with our wonderful designers, makers, upcyclers, recyclers & textile artists. Let yourself be inspired by their gorgeous ethical products and sustainable making practices for your Christmas gifts or something to treasure for yourself.

Grab yourself a drink and something to eat from local businesses at the new sustainable Dairy Road Precinct where you can enjoy local beer from The Capital Brewery bar and some yummy treats from Brodburger,  while you wander around our artworks, installations and designer market.

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Ethical Fashion Industry panel event - then another hour to wander around the markets & grab a drink from Capital Breweries.

A powerful panel discussion with industry specialists MC'd by special guest Melinda Tually from Fashion Revolution Australia & New Zealand.
Speakers -

Brian Tunks - Bison - ceramic and textile designer

Jennifer Nini - Eco Warrior Princess - advocate for living green and ecoprenuer

Rachel Pines - MoonBird - Ethical Designer / Founder

Faye De Lanty - The Salvation Army Stores & Eco Stylist & Fashion Hound Blog & writer

Kelli Donovan - Pure Pod - Ethical designer / Founder / Fashion Revolution ACT

Our panel event will ignite a discussion about how designers have the first impact to create positive supply chains in manufacture - from planting the seed through to production to selling and the end life cycle of a garment or product. Bringing to light the closed loop system of production and design.

The world of manufacturing and fast fashion cycles have grown at an unsustainable speed, affecting the people making them and having a devastating effect on the environment and insurmountable issues for charities.

There is a growing concern from consumers wanting to reconnect with makers and designers and purchase products with a positive supply chain and story. Fashionably Numb is creating this event for you, the consumer, to hear not only about the issues but most importantly the solutions!

Join us in changing the fashion industry for the better for people - planet - passion

TICKETS HERE

The One Colour Journey by Cynthia Cheong of My Fair Baby

In My Opinion, Wisdom, In my own wordsOne ColourComment

Di Stitt
Founder of One Colour and Australian and New Zealand distributor for Kenana Knitters via Kenana Down Under
Photo Source: One Colour – Di Stitt with Milka

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“I didn’t set out for Africa. The place kinda picks you.

Back in the early 2000s, I became increasingly concerned over extreme poverty that I believed could be tackled through trade, not just aid. The statistics in 2005 were horrific; 1.4 billion trapped in extreme poverty. As my boys were going to school, I found myself with more time, and it dawned on me not to waste what time we have. We enjoyed a great and healthy lifestyle. We were educated. We need so little effort to make life easy.

I found out about fair trade through some key individuals. It fitted my beliefs of ‘trade, not aid’. I have a friend who buys from the Oxfam catalogue. She showed me what buying from people who made the products was like, and I found this to be a fascinating concept. Then there was a couple running Tribes and NationGrant and Mignonne, whom I met at a conference. They’d returned from living in Tanzania, and were big advocates for fair trade. The encounter gave me more ‘Aha’ moments, with stories of unconceivable poverty due to unfair trade.

I decided there and then that if I wanted to make a difference, I would tackle poverty through business and trade. I thought a great way to start was in the fashion industry. Everyone wears clothes, so surely, there would be a market for this. So when I followed my husband to South Africa for his work, I met up with some t-shirt suppliers from South Africa. They told me about a Kenyan producer who uses beautiful fabrics and takes care in their production. Finding a producer who knows what quality looks like is like finding gold! I took them on as my supplier, and so, One Colour as a clothing brand started. The first collection ‘Looking Beyond’ was launched in 2009.

I was a naive starter. I didn’t understand how complex and challenging the fashion industry was. Running a clothing brand is costly, and till today, I’ve been in the process of selling the remaining stock. Best intentions can often not create what you want.

However, in late 2010, something happened which opened a new path for One Colour. I was doing a Christmas market in Brisbane when a lady stopped by the stall. She saw that the scarves I sold were made in Nakaru, Kenya. The lady started telling me about Kenana Knitters that was based close by at Njoro, Kenya as well, and how they have started this wonderful enterprise to empower women through knitting soft toys.

So in 2011, I visited Kenya again to meet Patricia Nightingale, founder of the grassroots organisation since 1998. It so happened that the Kenana Knitters were looking for a new Australian distributor. What a serendipitous event! Paddy’s a great judge of character, and she picked One Colour to be her distributor. Africa had picked me!

By about 2013, I got a handle on distribution, did trade fairs, and now Australia makes up about 50% of the sales of Kenana Knitters’ products globally. The growth has been phenomenal. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

You know about the lady I met at the Christmas market? Turns out she’s Paddy’s cousin. What a small world! Paddy is an amazing local white Kenyan. Mad keen knitter. 20 years ago, she said, ‘Let’s make something! We’ve got wool. There’s a few of us.’ And so, she started Kenana Knitters with two others. They now have around 600 women involved. 28 of them are on full-time employment managing quality, rostering, supplies, distribution, office management and of course, knitting! The remaining ladies are casual knitters who fit into the family-like environment. Many of them have children. Some even bring their babies to work. They sit on the lawn and knit.

Through Kenana Knitters, the women have been able to generate income and educate their children. The whole community has been transformed. The thing is, Kenana Knitters is fully self-sustaining. They are not a NGO, and don’t ask for donations. Kenyans run Kenana Knitters. This is their country, their society, and they know best how to transform their community. I feel I’m helping them to stay viable by creating a market opportunity to sell their products here.

I will always remember Mary who sadly died 2 years ago from HIV. Mary worked for Kenana Knitters for 5 years before her death, and all through those years, the organisation helped her with her medical treatment. When she first arrived, she was a starving mum with a sick newborn. They cared for her and her baby back to health. Mary was quiet-spoken, and always grateful. Through her employment, Mary was able to buy land and provide an inheritance for her children. Even today, everyone remembers Mary, leaving her knitting spot vacant as a respectful tribute. I featured Mary’s story a few years back on Mother’s Day, and it touched many of my readers. When I met Mary, I thanked her for allowing me to share her story, and to my astonishment, she hugged me and thanked me back. I still recall her tall, elegant figure (she was a Turkana woman), modestly dressed, such a beauty. How humble and extraordinary she was! In our society today, we applaud those who stand out but forget those who are quiet and humble. I have such immense respect for Mary as a mother. The sacrifices she made in her life for her family keeps me focused on ways I can keep bringing the Kenana Knitters products to our customers here.

The lady in the photo with me is Milka. She dances and sings while working at Kenana Knitters. Milka has an amazing energy. She suffered from terrible varicose veins and could not work, walk or dance. She was in a diabolical situation with no money for an operation, and no means to earn money. Kenana Knitters decided to fund her operation. I donated some money myself. There is a hospital nearby where specialists from the US come periodically and a vein specialist was one of them.

Milka lifts everyone’s mood whenever she’s with the knitters, and I can only imagine the amazing time that was had when she returned, fully recovered. The singing and dancing would have been phenomenal! Milka’s smile and charisma is a powerful tonic to me, too.

I feel privileged to be part of such a great group. Me, I’m a caretaker doing as much as I can, but as more people catch the vision, it will grow and keep on going.

My advice for those embarking on the business route? Always do your research. Talk to as many people as you can who have gone before you. Energy can get you a long way, but some good advice can save you a lot of trouble.

And ‘Never say Never’. Because something may change.”

The Slow Down

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So here's the Big Picture
 

It's been an amazing journey. Thank you for your company.

However, since 2014 One Colour has had no new clothing designs and I am now focusing fully on the distribution of the Kenana Knitter critters. The other side of the story is, for a small enterprise like mine, it’s too costly. And honestly, I can do a better job at supporting employment for our Kenyan partners as the Kenana Knitter distributor, supporting the Kenana Knitter women through the wholesaling of their hand knitted critters in Australia and New Zealand.
 

So, I am having a SLOWING DOWN SALE.
 

During the next three and a half months most One Colour clothing and accessories will beup to 50% off...it's a good chance for some massive savings if you want to wear, own or give One Colour one last time.

T-shirts prices will stay the same as they are already nicely reduced.

I have also added a small fee for postage ($5) as offering free shipping is not possible.

Please use your 10% discount code though!!  OCCHOICE53

TO RE-CAP:

From 15 September until 31 December you have the opportunity to purchase the last of our One Colour designs. After 31 December we will close the online shop and the One Colour brand will have a long, long break.

There is a touch of sadness in this, I can't deny. And as Kelly (wonderful friend and collaborator in all things digitally One Colour) has been putting together these last few newsletters with our lovely images, we reflected with nostalgia on the past 10 years, however I'm grateful that I have been able to pursue this path for so long, to see the fashion industry begin to change, to be part of the change, as you have been by supporting One Colour.

I will send a monthly newsletter up until December and then we shall see!

THE FUTURE:

In 2018 the One Colour website will be refreshed and I will continue to journal my thoughts, any bits of news and other things that interest me. Expect a newsletter every so often when I feel there is something worth sharing.

I will continue to distribute in Australia & New Zealand for the Kenana Knitters under the One Colour name with the online presence via Kenana Down Under.

You are always welcome to contact me via the website or email - di@onecolour.com.
 

You are all so very wonderful

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I love Le Tour

In My Opinion, InspirationOne ColourComment

Bonjour, Bon soir ou bon nuit! C'est l'heure du Tour de France!!

Late nights, early mornings, long stretches of time spent focused on each stage; one would almost think I was actually participating in the Tour de France. However, I am a couch watcher, drinking tea and knitting during the most tense, hectic, painful, exciting times, or all these mixed in together.

My muscles ache (not enough exercise), my mind goes jelly-like after long periods (too much telly), my body shakes with adrenaline, a mixture of fear, exertion and exhilaration (when watching the effect of these athletes). It's as if I was part of the race. But truthfully, I would never have been good enough (not having a love of cycling I'm sure one would need) or the discipline to deny myself to be the best I could be.

So I look forward to the high drama of this sporting spectacle: an amazing race of men, their machines and the mountains (and valleys) of France.

I also love the scenery. I miss Phil Liggett and Paul Sherman, though.

Photo by steve631/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by steve631/iStock / Getty Images

#tourdefrance #cycling #france #iloveletour

This Morning Sunrise

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Pink and peachy orange ripple across the sky.

A lone noisy minor goes crook on a couple of rainbow lorikeets as they take nectar from the grevillea.

Two currawong fly in swoops, calling out, landing on the tall tree next door.

Cold air turns my breath to clouds and I am chilled.

I am alive.

It feels good.

What Do Your Eyes See?

One Colour, In My Opinion, ReflectionOne ColourComment

What do your eyes see?

This is Purity. She works at the Kenana Knitters in Kenya. I love her hair, her head band, the way she wears the colourful wrap in the chilly weather. Her beauty is so evident. But I think she is rather amused at having her photo taken, yet again.

Many of the women at Kenana Knitters have their photos taken repeatedly. People come to visit and want their own memory of the ladies, and so the ladies very kindly smile as they work to earn the living that will change their lives and the lives of their families.

I wonder how we would go if random strangers wandered through our work places and took photos of us as we worked so that they could show them to others and so talk about their experiences of visiting our place of work. I have immense respect for the patient forbearance of these wonderful, wonderful women.