The LEARN tote, supporting The Black Curriculum
with Natasha Ndlovu

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The LEARN tote bag was co-designed by Natasha Ndlovu as part of the 7 women, 7 causes not-for-profit collaboration between DeMellier’s founder Mireia Llusia-Lindh and 6 inspiring women who joined their creative forces to create a capsule collection of 7 tote bags, each one supporting a cause that is very close to their hearts.

Natasha is a Zimbabwean-British model turned photographer, entrepreneur and inclusive beauty activist. Interested in the topics of race and education after experiencing different educational systems in North America and the UK, Natasha supports The Black Curriculum, a social enterprise that addresses the lack of Black British history in the UK Curriculum.

Their programs aim to equip young people with a sense of identity and the tools for a diverse landscape to facilitate social change.

100% of the profits from the sale of the LEARN tote are donated to The Black Curriculum.

THE WOMAN

About Natasha Ndlovu

My name is Natasha Ndlovu and I am a London-based model & content creator. I have been writing about fashion and beauty for almost 10 years since starting my blog and now I am branching into my own venture of selling vintage items and pre-loved fashion items. I grew up around the world - South Africa, Canada, France and now the UK, so travelling is a big part of my DNA.

Meet Natasha @NATASHANDLOVU

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THE PROJECT

I first came across DeMellier on Instagram via a post which caught my attention. After liking and following the brand, they got in touch with me about their bags and the ethos behind their brand. I really loved that they give back to the community with some of the profits from the sales of their bags. So, naturally, when they approached me about the project, I was keen. I loved the idea of creating something within fashion that could be sold but also be useful in the form of giving back to the community. In this case, it would be a charity of my choosing.

THE CAUSE

Teaching Black History

During the month of June 2020, with everything that was happening in the USA and the Black Lives Matter movement, which then trickled over to the UK, I discovered a lot of platforms which talked about Black identity and the importance of preserving and protecting it. Through a friend sharing on his page, I discovered The Black Curriculum, whose aim is to have Black History taught in schools and institutions around the UK. Its presence clearly shows that there is still a lack of Black History being taught in this country, along with issues that affect Black people in Britain and how they navigate today’s society. It is essentially an important part of this country’s educational system, which is lacking and needs to be implemented into curriculums. Although I personally never grew up here, I have been living in the UK for almost 11 years and I never got to learn about Black British culture, outside of carnival, which is a two-day parade at the end of August. I realise I too, as a foreign Black person, know little to nothing about Black British culture.

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THE CHARITY

The Black Curriculum

As mentioned above, I chose The Black Curriculum because I want to help them in their mission to make Black British history more prominent in the UK’s school curriculums. Although I am no longer in an educational institution, I want to make sure that by the time I have children and they have children, they will learn and have access to Black British history material and know about their place in British society.



“The Black Curriculum is thrilled to be working alongside Natasha Ndlovu and DeMellier on the 7 women, 7 causes project. As an organisation that is predominantly women-based, and is particularly focused on creative forms of education, we feel a particular synergy with the work being done at DeMellier and are incredibly grateful to be involved.”

THE BAG

The LEARN tote 

I love the idea of a tote bag as it is versatile and can be used for carrying a multitude of things and is also durable. I chose the word ‘LEARN’ as it relates to the fact that, in the UK, we still need to learn about Black British history, no matter what our background is, as it is an important part of this country’s history. I went for the colour black because it’s a versatile colour that everyone likes for bags and the cognac leather is a nice deep, dark brown which complements the black colour. A bag like this, in this colour combo, work with almost any outfit and is great to travel with, take to the office or a casual day out with friends.

HOW IT’S MADE

The LEARN tote is produced ethically and sustainably. It is made of cognac leather sourced from a leading Italian tannery awarded Gold rating by the European Leather Group and black canvas, made in Spain of organic cotton. The LEARN totes are handcrafted in DeMellier’s trusted family-owned factory in South of Spain following the strictest EU regulations.

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THE CAMPAIGN

I chose to shoot the bag against a simple, minimal background, without too much distraction, because it reflects the idea of starting from scratch when taking on new information. Just like in school, when we are learning something new, we start on a clean slate, a blank page. The colours of black and brown are also a reflection of the community myself and The Black Curriculum are representing. I tend to shoot in this style because I like to keep things as simple and clean as possible.



WATCH NATASHA'S INTERVIEW

I am proud to be a part of 7 women, 7 causes because of the beautiful, intelligent and creative women who are giving back to their respective communities. We all love fashion but we also love the people and environment around us and realise that for all the amazing things we get in our line of work, we also need to give back. I love that a brand like DeMellier always gives back and encourages people, like the 7 women on this campaign, to also do the same.