A Cork designer is making a positive impact in the fashion industry with a new sustainable clothing range, which will help women in Africa.
Rosemarie Kamana, 35, who lives in Carrigtwohill studied Digital Media Design in The Netherlands before completing a Masters in Design in Sydney.
"I've always had a love for art and crafts since I was a child – it’s a gift that I embrace, share and choose to use as a platform to serve," Rosemarie told.
Originally producing African inspired oil paintings, Rosemarie is now widening her reach and has developed a stunning clothing line.
Her new label, called KAMANA is an urdu word which translates as 'earn a living' and touches on the ethos of the company.
The clothing range is a platform to empower women from disadvantaged communities in the developing world to work and earn a decent living for themselves.
Determined to create sustainable solutions to the issues of poverty affecting women and families in developing countries, Rosemarie has partnered with creative artisans from East Africa to create KAMANA, an eco-friendly and sustainable product line.
The high quality, unique products, are wholly made under ethical conditions.
"Our vision is to incorporate training centres across various rural communities to create employment, help the artisans earn a better living and be self-sufficient," Rosemarie said.
The collection features bags, purses, hoodies, scarves and cushions and pays hommage to Rosemarie’s African heritage.
Some of the eco-friendly materials used include sisal fabric, which is native to Kenya and is made into rope and yarn to create unique tote bags, leather bags which are made from offcut and batik fabrics, and a variety of other leftover materials discarded from factories across the continent.
Rosemarie has had her work exhibited in galleries around the world and most recently featured at Art Source in Dublin:
"I put in my application to be part of Art Source earlier this year.
"I'm grateful that I got the opportunity to exhibit my artwork for the first time in Ireland last weekend.
"I've had various Art Exhibitions in Europe and Australia but this was the first time I’ve been in the presence of so many talented artists (200 under one roof)- it was an unforgettable experience and I learned a lot engaging with the audience and other artists.
"My next art exhibition will be in New York, in April 2020."
Fortunately for Cork, Rosemarie’s KAMANA collection will be on sale at the Gifted Craft and Design Fair Cork at Art Source Cork, which will take place in City Hall from November 29 to December 1.
A percentage of the sales from Gifted Crafts and Design Fair Cork will go towards building a kitchen for children in a school in Kenya.
"This will be our Christmas gift for the kids," Rosemarie said.