Updated: Feb 6
Mother and daughter duo, Ann Batcup and Jax Comyn are the founders of the brand: Bushbells, and are proud mavericks. This organisation produces beautiful and vibrant clothing that supports and provides for a small Kenyan community.
Jax and Ann were both born/brought up in East African, and so have that African heritage in their blood. They started Bushbells to help a widowed tailor, Sammy, find more work to support himself and his three young children. In 2014 Team Bushbells completed their first build (and namesake) Bushbells School. Their second ‘sister school’ (called Bluebells) was started in 2015, and is almost complete at the start of 2021, despite the on-set of Covid, and all its restrictions.
Sustainability to Bushbells doesn’t just mean the environment. There are social and economic responsibilities that Bushbells strives to uphold. With the devastating effects of Covid-19 on tourist-dependent communities, Bushbells work and support has never been more critical. Bushbells’ tailors are thoroughly looked after with six weeks of holiday a year, paid education and health coverage. They are a small-scale business, with belts often being made to order. They have short production lines to minimise waste. You order something, and another is then ordered Watamu side. It’s that direct and efficient. Any leftover fabrics are upcycled into keyrings or the trendy patchwork trousers, shoulder bags and smaller ‘shirt’ bags. With biodegradable packaging and the Singer Machines being ‘foot’ powered, they have little reliance on electricity to make the clothing. They are proud of their sustainable efforts, and the school children regularly contribute to beach ‘clean ups’, and as a team, they are well aware of reducing single use plastic in their communities.
Looking back on what Bushbells has achieved, one of Jax’s proudest moments as a creator is when Sammy’s oldest child (Katana) started at an international university in Nairobi two years ago. It was a life-changing moment for him and his community.
With a deeply rooted love for the African community and culture, Bushbells are the perfect brand for comfortable clothing and stylish accessories with a unique story behind it.
“I know who made these trousers.”
To shop bushbells, click here: https://www.bushbells.com/