Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans, the designer behind the brand- EKI ORLEANS
Born in a rural town in Germany, raised in Nigeria and now residing in London, she injects a bit of nature, culture and travel into her designs – always with Africa on her mind.
After working in Asset Management for 8 years, it was her fascination with culture and colour that inspired her to pursue her own career in fashion. And although she loves the excitement of catwalk shows and extravagant photoshoots, for her there needed to be more.
‘Fashion speaks volumes if you use it as a platform to create change. My passion is nature and being an advocate through my work ethics and story telling‘.
She draws inspiration from her cultural experiences, most notably her West African heritage, which she finds incredibly rich in story telling. Growing up in the buzzing and culturally diverse city of Lagos is where she first developed her love for the vivid and earthy colours of Africa.
‘Made in Africa’.
The concept of Eki came to fruition in Africa. Even though she is based in the UK, the print inspirations are heavily rooted in Africa. The stories she tell, awaken a nostalgic feeling. Africa is incredibly rich in culture and colour and it is an absolute pleasure to tap into that wealth of beauty and narrate stories. There is always an injection of colours with a distinct shade of orange running through most prints. Orange is her favourite colour; it reminds her of the warm, rich and earthy colours of West African soil. It is home and always welcoming.
Nature & Sustainability.
She lives a very sustainable life; she respects nature, she recycles, she walks and is very conscious of not wasting, so she made it her mission to incorporate sustainability into her brand.
When you are a sustainable brand, you care. Your goal shifts from squeezing everyone dry and cutting corners to having a conscience and staying true to your ethical values.
All of our printing is done digitally as it consumes less water and ink. It was a conscious business decision to opt for digital rather than litho printing, even though the latter is less dear. For us the long-term effects on the planet pay a higher price.
Our packaging is always on recycled paper and any collaborations we have done have been with likeminded sustainable and ethical brands. Our t-shirt range abides by the fairwear regulations, as we are passionate that our suppliers are paid accordingly and whose working conditions are monitored.
We have a very strict no wastage policy, where all our scraps are kept and re-used for smaller products, like pocket squares, frills on t-shirts and form borders. Up-cycling garments from older collections that did not quit fit, is another sustainable angle we have integrated into our module.
Likewise, we carefully select influencers who champion our mission.
Sustainable fashion is not a trend, it is a lifestyle; it is being enviornmentally conscious and looking at ways to cause as little damage as possible to our planet.
‘Luxury for me is having entire transparency and operating with a conscience’.
Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans