Batik: Layered Beauty

Batik has been around for centuries, in lands as diverse as Japan, India, and Egypt. As an art form that grew and thrived in multiple cultures before the time of recorded history, it is impossible to trace its direct origins, but there is no doubt about its popularity in West Africa today. Textiles have long…

Happy Living by Design

A handwritten sign in the offices of Design Niche spells out the group’s philosophy in green letters: to earn happy living for ourselves, families, and neighbours. In this small rural community in the Akwapim mountains, a thirty minute drive from the Ghanaian capital, Accra, a happy living is not always easily found. Although Ghana’s economy…

Trashy Bags: Fantastic in Plastic

Sometimes, innovations that solve one pressing problem cause another.  This is the case with the inexpensive and readily available sachets of drinking water for sale all over Ghana.  The sachets look like little pillows, and to drink one, you just tear off the corner with your teeth and squeeze the water into your mouth.  This…

Fashion Adventures in Ghana

  A few years ago, my family and I returned to the small village in Togo, West Africa, where I met my husband.  The trip was quite an adventure for all of us, but especially my 11 year old daughter and my 8 year old son.  We flew into Accra, the capital of Ghana, and…