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The designs, from Treana Peake's Obakki Foundation, support a community of women in a Ugandan refugee camp.
Treana Peake’s latest collection for Obakki delves into home design for the first time, but the motivation behind it remains the same. Since 2011, Peake’s Obakki Foundation has been focused on providing education and clean water in Africa, and with this latest collection, she’s working on capacity building as well.
“The Story of Us” collection came out of time she spent with women in Bidi Bidi, Uganda, the world’s largest refugee resettlement area. Peake gave the women three strips of fabric and asked them to share stories from their past and present, as well as the hopes for their future. The fabric was then woven together by hand into a circular wall-hanging. The main piece now hangs in the Story of Us pop-up store in Walrus. Additional designs can be purchased, and will include photos and stories of the women who have created them. 100 percent of the net proceeds from the entire collection go back to the women of Bidi Bidi.
Other pieces in the collection include table runners designed in traditional mudcloth textiles. Mud rich with minerals is collected from riverbeds by local divers, and applied to locally woven cloth, which then bakes in the sun to create the distinct patterns and designs.
Indigo-dyed pillows and napkins round out the homewares collection. Peake also partnered with jewellery designer Amy Dov to create a capsule collection for the project, and perfume maker Frazer Parfum, for natural perfume products made of organic shea butter and beeswax and scented with the sustainably collected sap of the Omumbiri tree. The Obakki Foundation is also developing a processing centre in Uganda, where the women of Bidi Bidi can process shea butter to become saleable.
The collection is on display in a pop-up at Walrus at 3408 Cambie Street in Vancouver until November 26; after that it’ll be touring down to New York, Toronto and other cities in North America, and will also be available on the Obakki Foundation’s website.