One Dress, Many Choices
‘Just one dress.’ The tagline for Kenyan brand Zuri is a radical statement in the age of fast fashion. While designers are working day and night to meet the demands of hurried buyers, Zuri, founded by American ex-pats Sandra Zhao who previously worked as a Strategic Planning Manager for a solar power company and Ashleigh Gersh Miller who has a background in antique persian rug dealing, have opted to take a slower approach to clothing; making just one dress for all purposes and people.
“It is in our opinion, the perfect dress,” Zhao tells us. The dress in question? A tunic-style that is fitted around the shoulders and loose throughout the body. It has been slightly altered from the original version so that the arms can be wrapped around the waist and worn as a skirt. Buttons have also been added so that it can be styled as a jacket, adding a whole new meaning to the term versatility. “We loved the idea of creating an item of clothing that's super simple and basic, but bold for every occasion and every season,” Sandra explains. The good news doesn’t end there. While there may be just one dress shape, there are various colourful prints to pick from. Made using 100% cotton African wax fabric, their online shop is flooded with bright and colorful printed dresses and Zhao admits, “We're drawn to prints that are weird, funny and cool. If it makes you laugh and wonder, we'll probably go for it.”
You can also sleep easy knowing that Zuri’s dresses are affordable and ethically produced; the brand is committed to operating fairly through paying fair wages, sourcing locally and helping to support the economy in Kenya. They partner with Wildlife Works a company whose conservation strategy is based on job creation and Soko, an organisation focused on creating sustainable livelihoods in a region of Kenya that has the country's highest rates of unemployment.
Simple, sustainable and stylish, Zuri’s bold designs make their dresses a must-have but their bold message makes their brand a breath of fresh air. “We're planning to explore menswear, possibly just one shirt,” Sandra tells us. Whatever their next move, their story so far is a huge source of inspiration. This one dress idea is so smart. Getting dressed in the morning has never been simpler!
Shop Zuri on shopzuri.com
Text by Kadish Morris