Kenya Grace is an English singer- songwriter whoʼs alternative R&B melodies and self taught electronic production skills invoke names like, Flume, Nao and Banks. After graduating from ACM in late August 2019 the soulful South African born artist began really honing in on her style and sound, trying out new things and really finding herself. Growing up on a diet of soul music played by her parents, Kenya Grace has recently spread her wings and left Southampton where she was raised. She now calls East London home and is creating new music inspired by her new surroundings as well as her own mark on the industry with dreamy left-field singles including ‘TALK’ and ‘Someone Else’.
Last month Kenya was a participant in the Fer ProductionGarment Streak slow fashion week hosted by Noctis. Kenya took on the challenge of picking one garment to wear for one week styled in different ways. This collaborative art performance aims to break down the stigma and eliminate feelings of shame people have been known to experience when wearing the same clothing multiple times. No shame in wearing the same!
We asked Kenya to talk us through her understanding and relationship with slow fashion, and advice for anyone looking to enjoy fashion in a more sustainable way.
Do you remember when or how you first became conscious of the connection between fast fashion,climate change and unethical practices?
I have been conscious of climate change ever since I can remember. I have been trying to do everything I can to help but also not let myself get sucked into feeling hopeless about the situation. I think in the last year or so I started realising the negative effects of fast fashion and unethical practises. Instagram can be such a great place to learn these days, I have learnt so much through posts. I have started supporting ‘slow fashion’ brands and thrifting and upcycling clothes. The Item I chose to use in this garment streak was my leather jacket which I thrifted from a shop in camden and then upcycled by painting on the back.
What positive role do you think public figures and people with larger platforms could have in the fight against fast fashion generally?
I think people with large platforms definitely need to speak more about how fast fashion has such a negative impact. So many influencers are very inspiring to thousands of people especially in fashion. I think if a few of the big influencers turned down brand deals with big fast fashion names like PLT, Misguided, boohoo or shein, it would make a HUGE impact. Also an extremely popular show called Love Island could perhaps choose to be sponsored by an ethical clothing brand instead of Isawitfirst. I think right now it’s about showing the public that even though huge shows, influencers and companies support these fast fashion brands – it doesn’t mean they are good.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for people looking to adapt to a slow fashion lifestyle?
I think thrifting and upcycling are super fun and allow you to be creative with your wardrobe. I have always loved going to charity shops, searching through and finding something so special that you know no one else would have. My advice would be go to second hand markets or charity shops with some friends and just have fun with it.
What has it felt like for you to be seen on Instagram wearing one item of clothing multiple times?
Honestly I really don’t see any issue with wearing the same item of clothing over again. I think if you are creative with your styling and wearing it in a unique and different way then what is the issue?
Besides performing in the Garment Streak, we’d love to know what else you’re working on, or any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I have just released a single and we have some very exciting projects lined up next! I played at Original Culture Festival on the 29th August too which was so exciting! Follow my instagram for more updates: @kenyagrace