Growing nettles to create sustainable fashion and livelihoods.
What do you grow in hard-to-access, thin-soiled steep slopes where irrigation is tricky, and machines can’t reach? The solution is as simple as it’s brilliant – you grow what would grow there naturally; stinging nettles. They are true survivors, requiring just some sun, a minimum of water and whatever soil you have. In return, the plants stalks used by the Sustainable Sting can be turned into a sustainable linen-like fabric. Process leftovers can be used to make paper and dyes. Besides potentially providing job opportunities and nutrients for more than 200 000 small holder farmers across Kenya alone, organic nettle fabric is a welcome, environmentally friendly alternative to conventional fabrics.
“Winning the Global Change Award and the grant means our project will get the global recognition and credibility we need to scale up our business and engage more local partners. The mentorship gives us opportunities to improve our production lines and, in the end, our, production costs. The grant however, will be used to prepay farmers, improve our production facilities, benchmarking and research,” says Jonah Mwangi from Green Nettle Textile.
Team members: Jonah Mwangi, Esther Muthoni, Sophia Mwai, Susan Macharia
Company: Green Nettle Textile