During my last few weeks in Melbourne on one particular Friday night, I was walking into the bathroom at 1806 before we left. On the way in a woman walked past me wearing a lovely, bright dress so I complimented her on it. She said it’s funny I should compliment her dress, as it’s actually one of her own designs. A short conversation and business card swap later, she promised to email me further details.
Elle lived in Ghana for eighteen months and during this time she fell in love with the wax print garments produced and worn by the local women over there (and also her boyfriend who she met out there, awww). The name Crafty Dog comes from an affectionate Ghanaian term for foreigner, which Elle was called whilst she lived there.
She spent a lot of time in the markets learning about the fabrics and the women that make them. This grew into a deep passion for Elle and as the time for her to leave grew closer she felt a great need to share what she’d learnt with people back home.
Now back in Melbourne, she is launching Crafty Dog Fashion which has taken these traditional prints and translated them into functional clothing in a Western society. By doing this Elle is giving the local women back in Ghana a sustainable and ethical demand for work and is also raising awareness in her hometown. Melbourne is a very colourful city fashion wise too, and with summer just arriving down under I’m sure Elle is going to do well.