The Mpira Story

Mpira jackets.


We started mpira in 2019 to bring our beautiful, responsibly produced goods to an international market and to provide well-paid jobs to skilled craftsmen in Kenya as we did so.

All of our pieces are made using natural fibres, dyes and traditional skills to turn discarded products into desirable objects. We have personally visited each of the workshops in which the products are made, so we understand the provenance of everything we sell and where they come from.

Since 2019 we have grown and developed the business to work with artisans in the UK. In doing so, we select individual pieces that have been discarded and upcycle these using vintage fabrics and reclaimed trims to create bespoke and unique one off pieces.

These are available in purchase in our store at 84 Hill Rise, Richmond, with a selection of these being available on-line.


Staff from the fashion brand Mpira.

Behind the brand:

Having worked in fashion for more than 30 years, the Kenyan-born fashion designer Rachel Stepanek and English brand director Amanda Edwards wanted to create a company that not only supported artisans in Rachel’s homeland, but which also shone a light on the skills and creativity of its people.

When Rachel and Amanda became aware of the impact that fast fashion was having on the environment, they realised there had to be a better way of doing business. Having witnessed the ingenuity of the people of Kenya, who can find a use for almost everything rather than throw it away, the pair travelled around the country to discover artisans whose ethical businesses they could help to grow.

Today, mpira supports five grassroots Kenyan organisations that produce luxurious, well-designed clothing and homeware from upcycled and recycled waste, providing vital jobs whilst preventing refuse from going to landfill.

Mpira is proud to have its first shop in Richmond, where it showcases beautiful pieces sourced and upcycled in the UK.