Monday, 15 July 2013

The Beat - The Udu

The udu drum originated from the Igbo people of Nigeria. Unlike other percussion instruments, the udu drum was invented and developed by the women of the Igbo people from clay pots.In fact, Udu means pot in Igbo.

These clay pots are used to carry and store water from the river to their homes. Although the udu looks like an exotic instrument, the udu is a big part of the Igbo's way of life, and you would find a lot of these littered in their homes.

Shop the Aimas udu print here.

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Friday, 12 July 2013

Feel the Rhythm - it's THE BEAT

The Udu Pants
It's always great to see heritage shine through in design, and with "The Beat" collection, it not only shines but boogies too.

Inspired by African history and culture rooted in music, musical instruments and dance, this collection - by the artistic brand Aimas (best known for handpainted tees and fabulous accessories), sees the use of own designed prints translated onto casual, wearable pieces.

The collection tells the story of African music and its role in society - for example, the use of songs for religious ceremonies and rituals, to teach and give guidance, to tell stories, to mark the stages of life and death and to provide political guidance or express discontent. In African culture, the beat of a drum can be used to relay a message in what many understand as drum languages or "talking drums".

Shop "The Beat" Collection today exclusively on

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Item of the Day - Tan Leather Clutch

This stylish clutch is handmade using real leather. Its light tan colour makes it a perfect summer accessory. Affordable at £30, this clutch can be purchased exclusively on MyAsho.Com.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The State of the Nigerian Textile Industry

The state of the textile industry in Africa is truly disheartening. In Nigeria alone, over 776,000 jobs have been lost within the last decade.

According to Dr Samuel Ortom Minister of State for Trade and Investment, "Nigeria once had a very vibrant textile and garment sub-sector with fixed investment of $4bn second only to South Africa, in sub-Saharan Africa, and was third largest in also had 63 percent capacity of textile manufacturing in West Africa and controlled 60 per cent of the textile market in Nigeria. Within the same period, the sub-sector had 175 fully functional mills that employed over 800,000 people"

With countries like the USA offering trade incentives, such as the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), one would think this would stimulate and encourage stakeholders within the industry to maximise cross border trade partnerships and save the flailing industry.

Alas. That is not the case. Although many countries within Africa have benefited greatly from AGOA and other such trade levies, this has not been the case in West African countries, specifically with respect to the textiles/garment apparel industry. This is due to various reasons - influx of foreign textiles into the market being the largest one of all.

Another reason was recently highlighted by the Financial Times, UK which cited a paper from the Centre for the Study of African Economies suggesting that savvy Chinese companies have set up shop in Africa as a route to get their products into the USA, with the added incentive of all the juicy AGOA benefits.

My Asho encourages all its designers to produce their products ethically and to work towards creating employment across Africa, stimulating local economies, supporting women in the workplace. We understand that it is tempting to outsource production but in the long run, we will only further damage the African economy and make things so much more difficult for ourselves. 

To our customers and visitors to our site, it is not easy. We cannot emphasize the amount of hard work that goes into designing, producing and marketing each and every item sold on our Site. These products are made either by the designers themselves, or the small teams they work with. We are not Primark or Walmart, so please don't compare our costs. Instead, perhaps think of the story behind each product, the lives you affect by purchasing from each designer. We truly are trying to create sustainable businesses across Africa - we are very small but we have big hopes.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Did you know...

It’s the TV BAFTAs this Sunday on the 12th of May, 2013 and we've come across some rather interesting BAFTA style facts. 

  • Most popular dress colour: Black (surprise surprise)
  • 330 Mascaras provides
  • 12 Make-up artists 
Check out the rest below and tune in on Sunday to see the fab frocks!