ROCK AND STONES was formed in 2009 inspired by the colorful contemporary designs of fabrics that are produced across the African continent which in their designs reflect the fascinating history of the Swahili trading empire and its relationship with West Africa, India, Arabia, Europe, and the Americas.
Our favourite fabrics are called Kitenge and Kanga. These popular cloths sport bold patterns in bright colours, and – in the case of the Kanga – an inscription in Swahili. These fabrics are stunning in the profusion and variety of patterns, which range from post-modern abstractions to traditional paisleys and depict subjects as diverse as political and religious figures, architecture, food, animals, plants, plumbing, modes of transportation and intricate patterns. The Swahili inscriptions on the Kanga include proverbs, aphorisms, taunts, and blessings Kanga and Kitenge are worn as wrap garments wherever Swahili is spoken – in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Mozambique, the Congo, and beyond. As ubiquitous as the American t-shirt, but with much higher cultural status, the Kanga is still evolving. Like the T-shirt, but incomparably more elegant and useful, it is a valuable medium for personal political, social and religious expression. As an art form as well as a beautiful, convenient garment, the Kanga has become an integral part of East African culture. As the saying goes, ‘The Kanga struts in style…Wear it with a smile’.
Rock and Stones is based in Kenya, and we specialise in bringing the depth of African culture as shown in our carefully selected African Kanga and Kitenge fabrics to our tailoring workshop to transform these clothes into a range of ready to wear clothing for all ages and all sizes. Our company supports the local communities that sew our garments so carefully as well as support on going conservation projects! Every purchase of a pair of Rock and Stones shorts helps raise funds to support on the ground conservation efforts! #FashionForConservation