Tereneh Idia

Sustainable Fashion Designer

Tereneh Idia began IdiaDega a global eco-design collaboration, to create a network of tradition and Indigenous textile artist who work together to develop a new design language. She works in partnership with the Olorgesailie Maasai Women Artisans of Kenya and The Beading Wolves of the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. Tereneh graduated as a Top 10 Graduating Senior from Drexel University LeBow College of Business. ⁣

As a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, she received her MSci in Fashion Design from Kenyatta University. She began her career in fashion as an educator including teaching at taught at Parsons - The New School for Design in New York City and as Visiting Scholar on global fashion at Yale - National University of Singapore. Tereneh Idia also is a writer on design and social justice issues.⁣

During Wildbiyoo, Tereneh chose to explore the possibility of (re)creating clothing for contemporary markets by exploring biomimicry, traditional textile arts and indigenous innovation. She is especially interested in delving into this from the lens of an African American woman, designer and artist.


She explored the traditional adornment tools that began human’s process of developing clothing - flora, fauna, elements of earth, discarded elements of animals and insects, and more. Her goal was to create textile elements, textures, exploring the creation of non-toxic dyes and colouring to develop new ways of design.⁣

Residency Artwork

Saptamatrika - Pleiades - Seven

Material: sustainable materials and methods (Sustain + ability: sustain human innovation and beauty as well as nature’s.)

Manner: considering a global perspective of culture, heritage, connection, history and future of adornment of the human form - without damaging people, other animals or the planet.


Meaning: our will to adorn the body is human’s original art form.


Tereneh: "I began IdiaDega — a global eco-design collaboration — to create a network of traditional and Indigenous textile artists who work together to develop a new design language and fashion system. Stepping, crushing, crunching and missing masterpieces, that was what I thought as I walked around Agonda jungle. It became an obsession, instead of looking up through the majestic canopy, I kept looking down, on the ground for materials. Leaves, flowers, seeds, anything that could conceivably become a piece of jewellery. My Wildbiyoo artist residency application suggested I would “make adornment out of jungle waste” once I was here I realised there is no such thing.


The jewellery will “live” mainly in these photographs and the leaves, flowers, seeds will return to the jungle Sunday evening of the festival.