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Green is this season's color at Nigeria Fashion Week

By Robyn Curnow, CNN
December 20, 2011 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
This year's Nigeria Fashion Week showcased a "Going Green" collection to create awareness of environmental issues. Dress by Modela Couture. This year's Nigeria Fashion Week showcased a "Going Green" collection to create awareness of environmental issues. Dress by Modela Couture.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • This year's Nigeria Fashion Week included "Going Green" collection
  • Designers used recycled materials in their clothing
  • Modela Couture designer Bayo Adegbe made a dress using real fish scales

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Nigeria Fashion Week has always featured bold colors, but this year the focus was on one color in particular -- green.

For the first time in its eight years, Nigeria Fashion Week showcased a collection specifically to create awareness of environmental issues.

"The whole world is going green and that means the whole world is thinking about sustaining our environment," said Lexy Mojo-Eyes, president of Nigeria Fashion Week. "We thought this is our little contribution."

He added: "We came up with the idea of Nigeria Fashion Week 'Going Green.' That means asking designers, expecting designers, to use recycled fashion accessories to be able to make collections that will help us project the idea of going green, to help us bring awareness to people in Nigeria about the importance of a sustainable environment."

Nigerian fashion goes 'green'

Why African designers are finally in the fashion spotlight

Among the big names in Nigerian fashion eager to go green was designer Bayo Adegbe, the mastermind behind Modela Couture, and one of the country's most popular designers.

"Modella was Nigeria's best designer some time ago and has done shoots around the world in Paris, Milan and New York," said Mojo-Eyes. "His clothing is very exclusive; everywhere he's been to around the world he has stolen the show. We're using him to spearhead this year."

Adegbe took extreme measures to get his eco message heard -- and seen -- on the runway, including one design inspired by mermaids and made from real fish scales.

"When the fishermen finish from the sea they bring fish to the shop, so I asked them, whenever they want to sell the big fishes to remove the fish scales and then I collect them like that for several months," said Adegbe. "When I collect them I wash them and perfume it so that it smells and looks good for what I want to do with it."

Other designers also embraced the challenge, making clothes from plants, paper and everything in between.

Designer Boma Inko-Tariah, from fashion house Beldie's La Mode, created a fascinator crafted from recycled paper, broken compact discs and a tin can.

Husband-and-wife team Nick and Simone Monu -- of fashion label Monu and Monu -- took up the green theme in their designs, incorporating carrier bags, bin liners, and even one of their daughter's old toys.

"We have a natural way of recycling in Africa but what we don't do is commercialize it, which is necessary -- taking things and making sure they are reused or remade into something that can be used again," said Nick Monu. "We haven't quite gone into that mentality yet, but it's coming."

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