Akhona Sihlobo

House Of ANOHKA

What does your company do?

We are a high end sustainable fashion brand that operates from a circular perspective. We aim to play our part in preventing waste that is meant to end up in landfills by intentionally creating garments that are reusable, repairable, biodegradable and recyclable.

What is your biggest success?

As an individual, my biggest success has been the reputable companies I have had the privilege to work for as an assistant fashion designer, getting to learn from them and growing through them. As a company, it would be the strides we are making into establishing who and what we are as a brand, intentionally working towards being the company that views the fashion industry as an endless circle. Understanding that the part we aim to play is in utilising materials for as long as possible, especially the offcuts. Working hand in hand with out current customers in encouraging consumers to know where their garments came from, what they are made of, who made them and being overall accountable for the overall lifecycle of our belongings.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

My biggest hurdle was/is from a personal point of view. A fight with self. Knowing that I am a fashion designer but also not being certain of the part I would like to play within the fashion industry, or perhaps not knowing how to figure out the part of the industry which resonated with the core of my being the most. The journey of figuring it all out or perhaps learning to figure it out. This bringing about uncomfortable growth and challenges that eventually lead to what it is I am supposed to be doing as an individual and business woman. The mental health aspect that would sometimes be positive but mostly negative, not knowing how to overcome but still somehow knowing that even if I don't know what it is that I am doing but I am still fighting for the peace that comes from creating. Coupling this with the reality of what it means to understand business. I'm greatful for this for the most part, as I am a better designer and a better fashion entrepreneur because of it.