Korogocho Teenagers Featured by Vogue For Recycled Plastic Clothes

  • A collage image of Warembo Wasanii models showcasing dresses made from recycled plastics.
    A collage image of Warembo Wasanii models showcasing dresses made from recycled plastics.
    Kristin Lee-Moolman
  • Teenage girls from Nairobi's informal settlements of Korogocho got a rare opportunity of showcasing their creativity in designing artistic clothes from recycled plastics after they were featured by famous Vogue magazine.

    The girls, drawn from the Warembo Wasanii group, were featured in the magazine's photography outlet - Photo Vogue as they showcased some of their artistic pieces.

    Warembo Wasanii group are mentored by Joan Otieno who revealed that the masterpieces were made from waste plastics such as plastic bottles and wrappers of food items such as rice and sugar.

    Warembo Wasanii model showcasing some of their artistic outfits.
    Warembo Wasanii model showcasing some of their artistic outfits.
    Kristin Lee-Moolman

    As part of showcasing the girl's talent, the group worked together with international fashion journalists such as Kristin-Lee Moolman and stylist Louise Ford.

    Vogue stated that the concept for the project was started in 2019 after the duo did a similar project in the country in Lamu county.

    "It was Louise and Kristin-Lee who first presented the concept and commission to Joan whilst in Kenya in 2019 producing 28 hats for Lamu, a series of images documenting the competitors in the Shela Hat Contest, an event in which entrants create hats from material that would otherwise be thrown away. 

    "They spent a year marshalling resources and assembling the right team to bring Mokoro to life," Vogue stated.

    Ford stated that the project was intended to tell the stories of the teenagers and that of Korogocho slums.

    “It was a true team collaboration, Kristin scouted for locations around the atelier and throughout Nairobi, finding unique settings to build the world of Mokoro," she stated.

    Their work is set to be showcased today in France at the Gallery Mercier et Associes exhibition centre.

    The group has in recent years become popular among Kenyans with the group hosting various art shows in the capital.

    Additionally, they have been recognised for conserving the environment through the creative initiative.

    Warembo Wasanii model showcasing an artistic outfit made from food containers.
    Warembo Wasanii model showcasing an artistic outfit made from food containers.
    Kristin Lee-Moolman