Sustainable Fashion

Build An Ethical Capsule Wardrobe To Keep Your Personal Style Authentic and Value-Driven

There is a dearth of research  in reports about exactly how big fashion’s impact on the environment is. We hardly need precise numbers quoting that “10% of all global warming emissions result from the fashion industry” to comprehend the challenge. We have read statistics that each year more than 10 millions tons of clothing ends up in landfills in the US, that the production of polyester and other synthetic fabrics is an energy-intensive process that requires huge amounts of crude oil and releases compounds that cause respiratory diseases, and that a fashion executive makes during a single lunch break what a garment worker in Dhaka makes in 18 months! And even should we question reports that do not cite their sources, we have undeniable tragedies like the Rana Plaza building collapse to remind us of how deeply detrimental irresponsibility in fashion can be.

At Yakutti, we work with brands for the value they contribute to their local communities, for their social missions, for the responsibility in their supply chains. Below, find more tips for how to move towards a wardrobe that is ethical and responsible, we call it an ethical capsule wardrobe.

1. Know Your Fabrics

Not all clothing textiles are created equally. Man-made synthetic fabrics like polyester are not biodegradable, so eventually they end up on landfill sites. Choose clothing made of organic, natural fibers like wool, linen, and organic cotton. Linen, in particular, is made of flax fibers that make it breathable and super-absorbent.  

2. #whomadeyourclothes

Demand accountability from brands you buy from, and boycott brands whose values differ from yours. Learn as much as you can about the supply chains of the brands you buy from, and contact customer support if the information you are looking for is not publicly available. You are in charge — you wallet, your vote, your choice

A subsequent implication from building an habit of questioning brands, is that your rate of shopping for items you do not need also increases since shopping becomes a time-consuming intellectual and fact-finding process, but oh so totally worth it!

3. Value fashion over fast fashion, quality over quantity

True, a trip to Primark results in bagfuls of new exciting additions, but over time, you’ve probably discovered that the excitement wears out fast, and you still end up never wearing most outfits in your closet.

Buy less for more — pay attention to outfits you wear most of in order to define a personal style, purchase high quality outfits that fit this personal style from brands with responsible value chains, study your clothes’ care labels and take proper care of them in order to preserve them over long periods of time.

4. Clean out your closet. Then build a capsule

Find novel ways for wearing the outfits in your wardrobe that you never wear, and if all attempts fail, swap, sell or donate them.

Once your wardrobe is all cleaned out, identify gaps in essentials and fill them. This ensures that you never face the illusion that you have nothing to wear that often results from a wardrobe more lacking in timeless essentials to ground outfits.

5. Make your ethical capsule all-wearable

Once you have a well-built capsule, wear everything. This keeps your style looking and feeling fresh all the time which subsequently means that you are less vulnerable to shopping when you don’t need to.Your clothes are also well taken care of, because you do not overwear a subset of your wardrobe.

To make sure you wear everything, you can practice the front-to-back closet method — a first-in-last-out cycle in which you recently worn clothes are places at the furthest end of your wardrobe.

Sustainable Fashion

Fashion Resolutions 2017: After Impactful Style

  1. Buy treasures

    With landfills fast filling with fast fashion, buying for keeps and for durability can only get more important. We not only get to play a small role in contributing to a cleaner planet, we also get to more presently experience and participate in the shopping process whether by spending much more less often, by getting to know the stories of items and their creators and even by custom fitting and ordering.

    This new year, we buy preciously, we buy items we can treasure.


  2. Develop a style personality

    Having a sense of style goes beyond wearing good clothes. This coming year, our style personalities constitute gorgeous dress and accessory choices that bring out the best in us while honoring our values. Think Michelle’s embrace of American fashion designers with a tendency towards social justice.

  3. Voice a stand

    Take a stand and voice it with the power within your clutch. This year, we buy from brands that share our stands, those that boldly live up to our values. And we boycott the ones that do not.

    Your boycott alone might not change the working conditions of garment workers, but our boycott certainly will. Let’s get started.


  4. Live bold

    Courtesy of my big sister, I learnt this past year that our own fear of judgment and loss of reputation is linked to our harsh judgment of others. This year, we let people around us be, and in so doing we let ourselves be.

    We go for things we want, we let ourselves be in our careers, in our relationships, and in our wardrobes.

  5. Live better

    We take every chance we get to live and be better — we dedicate more time to people at dinner than to instagram and snapchat, we travel more, we drink more water, we make better use of gym memberships, we read more, we better our work ethic, we buy better, we experience more, we forgive completely, we love deeper, we take back control.


Happy New Year 2017!

We can’t wait to see how your style grows — create an account to share you growth!



Sustainable Fashion

At Chic Shega, Ethiopian Artistic Tradition And Healing Are One

We can only imagine the horror of friends and family when Elsa Adane decided to leave medical school in Addis Ababa. Chic Shega, a brand name that means “beautiful things” and whose identity she figured would become synonymous with creative brilliance, would come to constitute her passionate pursuit since.

Elsa’s understanding of brilliance comes laden with meaningful significance. Her designs are simple yet impeccably executed. Where the imperfections of leather that escapes over-processing and treatment lend a raw authenticity to her items, the perfection of thoughtful conception that places each stitch and seam as it should be lends timeless elegance to their design.

Chic Shega on Yakutti

The Chic Shega boutique on Yakutti features handmade fashion accessories. Artisans, with whom Elsa partners, use leather from a local tannery to make earthily bags, crossbodies, clutches and totes out of the beautiful designs she conceives. Borrowing from centuries-old spinning and weaving Ethiopian traditions, they also make great-looking scarves and other textiles.

A brand living up to its values

The future can only get more brilliant for Elsa. She hopes to expand her current offerings and to diversify her brand’s product lines to include natural healing products and cosmetics. A candle from Chic Shega will not just be fragranced. It will be attentively infused with aromatherapy to facilitate complete wellbeing.

Elsa might have left a medical school once, but she was not disagreeing with healing itself. She would go on to forge a path in which healing was her art, in which healing was tradition beautifully laced with meaning and thoughtfulness.


Remember to shop our Chic Shega boutique, and to create a style account to follow brand updates and stories.


Sustainable Fashion

Nyumbani Design: Living Eco-consciously, Living Stylishly Boldly

Nyumbani Design jewelry is boldly sculptural and uniquely elegant. And behind the artful execution of sophisticated design, is a commitment to responsible design, to responsible living, to a better greener universe.

What Kerry Glanfield started in 2010 has evolved into more than retail, more than jewelry. And we couldn’t be prouder that our members love the Nyumbani Design boutique on Yakutti.

Below, Kerry,  Nyumbani Design’s Founder writes about her brand’s founding story and commitment to eco-conscious design.

Nyumbani Design Founding Story

I moved to Dar es Salaam in 2010 and began working within the retail industry collaborating with local artisans in Tanzania. Over time, I noticed that while wooden sculptures were commonplace in Tanzania there was an absence in the market for crafting indigenous woods in a more contemporary fashion.

Sensing there was an opportunity to experiment with a material I hadn’t explored before, I sampled and developed a few pieces with local wood artisans to create wearable pieces of art I would want to wear. From there, the business grew organically.


Commitment to Eco-conscious Design

Over the last three years, Nyumbani design has supported the work of Trees for the Future, a non-governmental organization that has planted trees around the world since 1989. Together we have planted over 5000 trees as well as supporting tree planting and soil-restoration projects globally.

Our newest partnership is with a conservation organization in Tanzania. Mpingo Conservation & Development Initiative assists communities to generate ethical and sustainable forest-based income by selling responsibility harvested FSC certified timber.

As we are a Tanzanian-based company, it was important to us to support the surrounding communities.


Guiding Objectives

We aim to design in a sustainable manner by supporting and encouraging tree planting projects as well as creating employment and hopeful futures for our artisans and their families in Tanzania. For every jewellery piece we sell, a seed will be planted to restore and support the plantation of indigenous trees for the future.

Create an account to learn of new exciting collections from Nyumbani Design and to share your own ecoconscious style.

Sustainable Fashion

Designer Spotlight: Designer Jewelry You Can Love From Niku Singh

Designer jewelry collections from Niku Singh are a rare combination of timelessness and boldness, of simple elegance and ornate magnificence. They will work glamorous wonder for your wardrobe. Just as easily as they will for your favorite East African music band!

We are not the only big fans of Niku Channa’s creative genius at Niku Singh. In 2014, Niku Singh won the “Best Designer of the Year” and the “Best Accessory Designer of the Year” awards at Mercedez Benz Fashion Festival in Accra, and this year, Niku Singh topped the Fashion & Design Category at the Kenya Sikh Achievers Awards.

Yet, what draws us to Niku Singh designer jewelry are not the awards. We are drawn to the decidedly distinctive character without which the novelty of his designs would be impossible, and to the talented passion without which the thoughtful details in his pieces would be absent.

We are fascinated that even the simplest of pieces carry the allure of unusual twists, and that even the most elaborate of pieces escape pretentiousness by exhibiting the raw authenticity of careful handcrafting. As far as brand values go, we are huge admirers of  the insistence to hand-make Niku Singh collections locally.

Visit Niku Singh’s boutique on Yakutti to see more and create an account to follow his brand and design updates.


Ordering bespoke from Niku Singh

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To order bespoke designs customized to your event or taste, use our general bespoke form.