Ethical Renewal

Texas-bred Eric Kimmel is the king of trashion. By taking America’s discarded clothes, adding African craft and flair, and selling the results for up to $300 to bring prosperity to Sierra Leone, the designer and founder of America’s Rich Hippie boutique is taking eco-fashion to the next level. Recycled rag-trade guru Kimmel once peddled designer denim to classy shoppers in the US, but has now made a village in the steamy southeast of Sierra Leone his new home. The reason? He wants to bring "clothing with a conscience" to the West. His "trashion" line takes second-hand clothes from well-known brands such as Nike, Adidas, Levi and Disney, and then local artisans add their own cultural touches and techniques, such as batik dyeing, hand-stitching and African beads. Kimmel will launch the label later this month, at a series of fashion parties in America and the UK. Get the full story at

Camille Drummond

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