Archive | May, 2011

Getting to know Fretex

23 May

 I started learning more about Fretex Redesign from the day I was told that I was nominated fo the job, for example;

Fretex is a Salvation Army owned company and actaually the Salvation Army  has a Branch in Kampala Uganda. I also found alot of information about Fretex on the internate (

Katerina.G and Magny T from Fretex Redesign visited the Salvation Army branch in kampala, UgandaFretex.

I also got to know more about the redesign department of Fretex and the products they make. I was really impressedand facinated! Te recycled products look brand new, its hard to imagine that these product are made from materials poeple dindnt want.  Its hard to describe with words so Ican only  show you;

Photo by Fretex Redesign

Purse made from recycled leather jacket





Photo by Fretex Redesign
Dresses made from bedcovers
Photo by Fretex Redesign
Yup, hard to belive but these stylish bags were made from leather Jackets!!

I call these the wow bags coz thats all I could say when I saw them first!!

The more I learnt about Fretex Redesign, the more Interested I got. I am still learning because there is alot to learn ofcourse, I am not even sure if one year is enough, but hope you enjoy this learning experience with me coz if you dont, I now I will.

More redesign from uganda

23 May
Photoe by Magny T
Car tyre rim recycled


The picture above is of a car tyre rim that has been transformed into a grill(left). A similar grill(right) has been made from metal sheets from other sources.  Most Families in Uganda own this grill because it is a good energy saver.

Recycle in Uganda

23 May

While Katarina and Magny were in Uganda they visited some workshops were tin recycle is done.

Tin recycle.

Below are some of the outcomes of metal recycle

Photo by Magny T

A paraffin lamp made from a nescafe tin

Tine funnel

Funnel made fom a used tin product

The beginning of my journey

13 May


This is how it all started
It was 2010 and I had been running my small fashion business for two years. I was at a point where I wanted to take the next big step for my business and myself when this big opportunity came to me in the ‘nick of time’. I got a call from a former professor of mine called Dr Venny, from the Margaret Trowel school of industrial and fine art in Makerere University, who informed me that I had been nominated as a potential participant to represent Makerere University and Design without Borders (Designe uten grenser) of Norsk Form as an exchange designer in Fretex Redesign. She did not want me to get to excited however because there were other nominees but, as you can imagine, I was extremely excited even though there was a big possibility that someone else would  be selected.

As far as I know, apart from my two-year experience as a fashion designer, I was nominated mainly because of a project called “ Fashion Recycle with a difference.´´ that I had done in my 3rd and final year at the School of Industrial and Fine Art in Makerere University. In this project I focused on how ‘recycle’ as a fashion design tool could be used to promote sustainability by transforming men’s secondhand  shirts into beautiful blouses for women. Below are some examples of the outcome of this idea;

Colar twist (photo by Brenda Asiimwe)

From shirt to blouse


Twisted colar


Photos by Brenda Asiimwe D

You have to know that at this point I had no idea whatsoever what Fretex Redesign was all about. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I later found out and realized that someone or a company far, far away from Uganda was doing fashion recycle but on a larger scale than I was doing it and that in fact they also recycle other materials other than textiles like; paper, leather, wood, glass and metal. I was beyond excited. I now wanted this experience more than before. I really wanted to see and learn more about what Fretex Redesign was doing because obviously there was a lot to learn, so, I crossed my fingers and prayed that I would be selected.With fingers crossed, I went to meet Katarina Gronmyr (Project leader Fretex Redesign Øst-Norge) and Magny Tjelta(Redesign leader Fretex Vest-Norge) for my interview and to show them samples of products made for my ‘fashion recycle with a difference’ project. 

Apart from the interviews Katarina and Magny were holding to find an exchange designer to host in Fretex, they were in Uganda to visit the Salvation Army branch there and also to visit one of the largest outdoor markets in Uganda and in East Africa called ‘Owino’.


The day I got the long awaited call from Katarina with news that I had been selected for the exchange, I have to admit, was one of the best days of my life! I was speechless and don’t really remember what I said. What I remember for sure is I had an ear to ear grine and ofcourse, I did a little victory dance. Thank God no one could see me because I must have looked silly. I then shared the good news with my family and they were really happy for me,(my Mom put my earlier victory dance to shame with hers, it was a sight to remember). The process and the wait for my depature then begun.