By Kennedy Nyavaya
Rising fashion designer-turned-model Ratchel Mugoni has added environmental activism to her vast collection of artistic work in an effort to encourage recycling and up-cycling of material largely deemed as waste.
Mugoni, known in fashion circles as Vintage Rae, is famed for preaching self-worth and confidence among so called plus-size persons by posting on various social media platforms stunning pictures of her wearing clothes she designs.
Of late, however, Mugoni has been posing in incredible outfits made out of plastic and paper material, an initiative she said is meant to encourage people to think twice before throwing away stuff.
“I believe in taking advantage of resources readily available to you and seeing the beauty and opportunities in all things that surround you,” she told Standard Style.
“I believe in sustainable use of materials in our day-to-day living and so I try to repurpose what would otherwise become rubbish and I use it for day-to-day use.”
In Zimbabwe and across the globe, waste management has stimulated huge debates as conscious world citizens search for sustainable method of disposing material that cannot decompose like plastic and that is what Mugoni is trying to address through her talents.
“This campaign I have been running is just a way of sensitising society that beauty can come out of some of the materials we throw away as garbage, we just need to think twice before turning anything into waste,” she said.
One could not disagree that sleek as well as colourful paraphernalia from what is perceived worthless certainly sounds like a stylish and smart way to save the world from opening new landfills or wanton burning of unused material.
The Chinhoyi University of Technology Creative Art and Design graduate pledged to continue with her mission of body positivity and redressing stereotypical definitions of beauty.
“I am currently moving with body positivity in that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes after having seen how beauty had been so stereotyped in modern days, especially with the advent of social media,” Mugoni said.
“I am a body-positive activist who seeks to make people understand that beauty comes in all so many shapes, sizes, races and ethnicities. it is not a universal quality that can be applied across the board, but a subjective one that allows for peculiar and unique definitions of what beautiful truly is.”