Africa has some truly dedicated and inspirational social entrepreneurs who want to make a real and positive difference in the lives others. Sylvia Omina Otsieno, a fashionprenuer is one of them. With her sustainable fashion brand, Omina Otsieno, that is almost entirely from banana fibre, Sylvia has defined the fashion industry in Kenya.
Her fascination with culture, art and craft from her hometown combined with her desire to empower women resulted in the creation of banana jewelry brand with a strong backstory and purpose which is resonating well with an urban woman living a sustainable lifestyle.
Today, Omina Otsieno, creates culturally inspired jewelry for globally minded women. Her creation begins with harvesting banana trunks from the farm and then stripping off individual layers, sheath by sheath from the stem, using a knife. Afterwards, she makes thin strips and boil them for easier removal of the fiber.
The fiber is dried under the sun to make it lustrous, supple and versatile when woven. It is then knitted together using a twisting and handcraft technique to create unique jewelry and accessories depicting African traditional weaving.
Sylvia has partnered with women weavers in Elunyiko village, Busia County which is located in Western part of Kenya who weave the banana fibres into exceptional jewelry using their craft and traditional weaving process. All weavers earn decent wages for their work.
In addition, she is an alumni of International Trade Center under SITA MITREEKI fashion incubation programme, Cherie Blair Women Mentoring Programme 2016 -2018 and a member of She Trades. If you wish to engage Sylvia, Kindly contact TecHub.