For years in Africa, the commercial Made in Africa Fashion industry has grown exponentially without much sustenance as to how this improvement is moving the ground. Some would argue it is one of the main perpetrators of climate change as fibers find their way into oceans and companies burn clothes so as not to discount them. More often than not the retail chain—manufacturing, sourcing, packaging, and transportation—disregards its carbon footprint. Thus, the term “sustainable” serves as a buzzword that suggests the use of recyclable materials, ethical labor practices, and fair trade.
Given these, we are looking at special fashion styles and brands from African regions. To understand the fashion state and general information about lifestyle 7n place through fashion.
Second-Hand Clothes in Africa
Brands in the industry, both large and small, are faced with several challenges while trying to remain prominent. Where some have implemented the use of organic fabrics and ethically sourced packages as well as the education and empowerment of artisans through programs, others do not see the urgency in transforming.
Today, several consumers are opting for second-hand and eco-friendly clothing to fulfill their altruistic needs. In several African countries, unwanted and out-of-season clothes from the US and Europe find their way to merchants who stock them in bulk in markets.
The endeavors above are not cheap, but they are necessary in a world where extreme and unusual weather patterns continue to appear.
There are ethical and sustainable African fashion styles that are doing the work and catching our eye.
Over the past few months, we have had the opportunity to write about influential figures and incredible collections from a host of artists and designers known around the world. The Folklore gives representation to designers and artists from Nigeria to Senegal as well as African businesses in North America, South America, and Europe, creating a stage so much wider for African fashion than we had originally thought before joining the team. Whether these brands draw inspiration from their culture and tradition or utilize the abundant textile resources the African continent provides a platform to showcase incredible designs through careful curation of apparel, shoes, bags, accessories, and homeware that can be used anywhere in the world. Some of these brands have been previously unavailable to shop online or outside of Africa—until now. We’ve highlighted some of the designs that we have come to know and love in our time to commemorate the general perspective of life in Africa.
Orange Fashion Culture
Nominated for the LVMH Prize in 2015 and the International Woolmark Prize in 2018, the Nigerian brand Orange Culture caters to a creative class with a variety of colors, styles, and fabrics. Priding itself on the extensive coverage of universal silhouettes with an African touch, the brand manufactures all pieces in Lagos with ethically sourced fabrics from local makers to sustainable as possible. The Warning Tunic from the latest collection is inspired by the popular graphic warning of imminent danger, but stylishly. The text at the bottom reads, “Warning: Wear at your discretion. All advice reserved.” Wise words.
Nigerian Women Footwear
Nigerian women’s footwear and accessory brand Shekudo aims to highlight the local artisans and craftsmanship in Africa by showcasing unique and wearable designs for everyday women. From recycled insoles to wooden shoe heels, all of Shekudo’s raw materials are sourced and produced locally. Shakudo strives to establish a global sisterhood and create a sense of women’s empowerment with every accessory. The Ilamoye Mule Sandal is a statement piece that will be the focal point of any outfit. Each pair is carefully made to order by skilled artisans, meaning each weave arrangement and tassel placement is unique, and no two pieces are the same.
Made in Africa fashions are good to rock anywhere in the world. The issue is based on the financial capacity of everyone involved in it. If a person is not able to afford new clothes and other fashion show accessories, he can go for used materials. The selling of grade A that popularly known as Okirika in Nigeria is a trend that has been in existence for decades.
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