How Nigeria’s Zainab Ashadu is Promoting Sustainable Development through her Fashion Brand, Zashadu

Zainab Ashadu is the Creative Founder/Director of Zashadu, a sustainable luxury handbag company, which specializes in handcrafted leather pieces.

She has a diverse background encompassing Art Curation, Architecture, Acting and Fashion Styling.

Ashadu began her career as an Actor in London, then moved into Architecture where she explored the spatial relationship between geometry and fluidity.

Her passion for handbags started when she was 8, when she fell in love with a clutch bag belonging to her mother. She has since honed her craft at the London College of Fashion.

Zainab uses locally sourced materials including leather, exotic skins and rough cut semi-precious stones for her bag production.

She produces her luxury handbags out of a workshop where her team is able to benefit from traditional techniques passed down through generations, by a community of local artisans.

Zashadu works with local sustainably sourced leathers, farmed exotic shins and rough-cut precious stones set in brass.

All pieces used are created at the Zashadu workspace in Lagos, Nigeria by a team that benefits from traditional techniques passed down through generations by a community of local artisans.

The team of creatives love to explore the tension between quiet elegance and unabashed glamour and they avoid the use of superfluous fittings and fixtures in order to give precedence to the leathers.

Zainab’s brand has spread internationally to countries like; London, Paris and The United States of America, elevating awareness of Nigeria’s beautiful craftsmanship and the major motto that helped her build the luxurious empire is “To dream big, but start small”.

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