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Hello, everyone! My name is Dayirai Kapfunde, and I founded From My Sista’s Closet. I am thrilled to introduce you to our non-profit organization, which combines my passion for sustainable fashion and women’s empowerment.

 

Several years ago, I visited my sisters in the U.K., and my marriage was rocky. I did not realize the impact this had on me until my sisters asked me why I was dressing like I was hiding and did not care what I looked like. My oldest sister decided to throw a Braai/BBQ party for me, and the two sisters (oldest and youngest) dressed me up. My oldest sister did my hair and put her wedding crown on my head. I felt loved. I still have the clothes that I was gifted in my closet today.

Last year, a friend of mine who is of Guyanese background and her daughter came to my house to see if they could find some Africanwear from my closet to wear at the then Africa Centre Gala. I had put some clothes aside and brought down a full-length mirror. So, my friend and her daughter tried clothes on while we listened to some Afro beats. I have a video of my friend twirling with her hands in the pockets of an African-themed dress, saying, “When people ask me where I got this from, I’ll tell them I got it from my sister’s closet.” I went to bed on a high and dreamed about this initiative as the weeks progressed. These experiences made me realize that we could create a platform that reduces waste and empowers women by providing them access to beautiful, gently used clothing.

Our mission at From My Sista’s Closet is to cultivate an inclusive and sustainable fashion ecosystem that facilitates the exchange of gently used clothing among women. We envision a world where all women have access to a diverse and sustainable wardrobe while honouring and continuing the tradition of gifting clothing to empower and uplift each other. Empowering women through clothing exchanges aligns perfectly with my values and personal experiences. I have seen firsthand how giving can boost someone’s confidence, provide them with new opportunities, and foster a sense of community. Sustainable fashion is not just about reducing waste; it’s about creating a culture of sharing and support.  

I wanted to create a platform where women would enter spaces with their heads held high, regardless of what they may be navigating. Also, by extending the life cycle of clothing, we can significantly reduce our environmental footprint while making a positive social impact. Our clothing exchanges are a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives, where women come together to support each other and make sustainable fashion choices. Ultimately, sustainable fashion is a way to honour our planet and each other. It’s a commitment to making thoughtful choices that reflect our respect for the environment and our dedication to building a better future for the next generation. Through FMSC, I hope to inspire others to embrace this journey toward sustainability and community enhancement, one garment at a time.

Community support has been crucial to our success. One story that stands out is how FMSC recently partnered with When African Women Talk (WAWT) and used the WAWT brunch to introduce FMSC and have our first gifting closet. Also, FMSC recently partnered with the Alberta Black Therapist Network (ABTN) to participate in a FunDrive and co-share storage space. This support reinforces our belief in the power of collective action.

We seek to partner with brands and businesses that share our commitment to sustainability. Collaborating with ethical fashion brands can amplify our impact and offer our community more resources and opportunities. These partnerships help us promote a circular economy where resources are used more efficiently and sustainably.

We aim to create economic opportunities for individuals and small businesses by fostering a market for secondhand clothing and sustainable fashion. This includes supporting local artisans, upcycles, and sustainable designers who positively impact their communities. We see a world where sustainable practices are celebrated, and every woman can feel empowered and confident through her clothes. With your support, we can make this vision a reality, one garment at a time.

We invite you to join us on this journey. Your support is invaluable whether you donate clothing, receive clothing, volunteer, or spread the word. Together, we can make a difference, one garment at a time.

As we embark on this exciting journey, I am most excited about the potential to make a meaningful difference in women’s lives and the environment. The idea of transforming the fashion industry through sustainable practices while empowering women fills me with hope and enthusiasm. The journey ahead is filled with promise and potential, and I am deeply grateful for the support and enthusiasm of everyone involved in FMSC. Together, we can create a brighter, more sustainable future where fashion is a force for good. Thank you for joining us on this exciting path, and I can’t wait to see what we will achieve together! Let’s create a sustainable and empowering future together!