VENTURES AFRICA: In the world of fashion, some believe fashion should be ethical, stylish and beautiful. Recently, fashion designers have decided to go the innovative route by producing Eco-friendly designs. Most international fashion brands/businesses have used this means to provide more jobs for locals in different African countries. It is amazing to see Africans gradually tapping into this innovative path to establish a ‘greener’ environment, thereby creating an environmental and social friendly solution to different communities both in Africa and abroad.

Born in South Africa Nina Bloom received her MA at Goldsmiths University of London in Ceramic and also an Art Teachers Certificate. Her creativity have at Harvey Nichols, Chelsea Arts Fair and the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Nina Bloom is dedicated to creating extraordinary fashion Eco-friendly bags and accessories from locally recycled materials. She has a true passion for linking education with the environment, sustainable development and corporate responsibility. In 2007, Nina came up with an idea to up-cycle used vinyl fabric to create student lunch bags; this was as a result of the challenge posed to South African school children to find commercial applications for commonly discarded consumer recyclables.

To put her creativity to work, Nina started her business of Up-Cycling. She finds creative innovation in what most people see as waste by giving life to what mostly would have ended up in landfills. “When byproducts or refuse are transformed into something more valuable than the original item they constituted or supported they have been Up-Cycled.” Nina collaborates with mainly advertisers, media houses and printers to create her products. In 2009, she began to expand into the other consumer goods, notably women’s fashion by focusing on vinyl billboards. Since the 2010 World Cup her business has been consulting with corporate clients to find Up-Cycled solutions for large scale marketing events. Her products find compelling original uses for one of the largest components of global landfill, namely advertising and marketing waste.

“We take what would end up in landfill and give it not just a second life but a higher calling. When byproducts or refuse are transformed into something more valuable than the original item they constituted or supported they have been Up-Cycled. By partnering with advertisers, media companies, and printers, Nina Bloom has created an ecosystem that benefits all participants in the entire advertising chain to create an environmental and social solution that ensures maximum use of marketing investments.Advertisers benefit from having their brand associated with a green end game and seeing their marketing and intellectual property continue to support their corporate message long past its planned obsolescence.”

In February 2012, Nina Bloom was invited to participate at the Good Fashion Show held at London House during London Fashion Week. As one of the few African designers, she presented Up-Cycled billboard bags at the show. In addition to this, she was invited and accepted to become a 500 Fellow from the Ethical Fashion Forum. The purpose of the forum is to unite 500 innovators in fashion and sustainability and encourage them to take the movement to the next level.

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