Almost every woman worries about fashion. Whether in a boardroom, attending an event, or just going out for a night with friends. We all try to look our best and feel good by dressing up for the occasion. No matter what occasion, you know it is important to find comfortable, stylish, chic, and durable clothes. Our clothes have to meet our lifestyle.
In our younger days, we live our lives on a day-to-day basis and not pay any attention to anything. Consuming whatever we want and doing what we please. But thanks to people like Greta Thunberg and others, we are becoming more and more observant, and we have started to focus on things that did not matter to us before.
Sustainable: Buzzword or Lifestyle Choice
Recently we have heard the word ‘sustainable’ across multiple channels. Whether it is energy, housing, or any other commodity, it is still a buzzword until we grasp the idea behind it. But we know that it is important enough, so whenever we hear this word, we turn our heads. More people are trying their best to understand more about what they are putting in their bodies and how they can live a more environment-friendly life. We pay attention to every little detail related to our lives instead of just accepting any product or service at face value. We are becoming savvier with our choices than ever before.
Sustainable Fashion: What is It?
One of the things that we have started to worry about is sustainable fashion. Just as people pay more attention to what they are eating, they are also focusing more on what they are wearing. They are finding out more about how and where manufacturers made their clothes and environmental impacts. People are now investigating entire production processes, supply chain, and product afterlife to make better decisions.
The clothes that follow the latest styles and trends in the fashion industry are inexpensive. Everyone knows they will go out of fashion very quickly, and they will discard them for newer and trendier clothes. According to one report, the global fashion industry will grow by 81% by 2030. That will put unprecedented pressure on the dwindling resources that we have. The fashion industry is already the second biggest pollutant—coming second only to the big oil industry—according to the UN.
Here are some of the critical ways the African fashion industry are encouraging sustainable fashion:
1. Local Resources
Many African brands have started sourcing local materials from Africa to offer their customers a more eco-friendly option. These include natural and homegrown materials like mohair and merino wool. More and more brands are turning towards local resources and ditching the polluting materials.
2. Influencer Marketing
Another step that the African brands are taking is to bring in celebrities to promote their cause. One Senegalese fashion brand ‘Tongoro’ joined up with Beyonce, the music sensation, to promote their brand. She shared photos of herself wearing clothes from the brand with her followers on social media.
3. International Promotion
African brands like Tongoro and more promote their fashion designs across international magazines and publications like Elle, Vogue, and Forbes. They are producing high-quality designs that are on par with their foreign counterparts.
4. Promoting Local Fashion Internationally
Many more designers are trying to enter the U.S. market and connect with international buyers because of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. This act allows African designers to export to the United States without any duty. More and more designers are now thriving internationally as well as locally.
5. Second-hand Clothing
According to statistics, more than 80% of people in Africa wear second-hand clothing. You can take Ghana, Benin, and Kenya as the perfect example of this statistic. Second-hand clothes come to Africa from all around the world. If that didn’t happen, these clothes would go to a landfill in their counties and get discarded. By repurposing these clothes, African countries are promoting sustainability and eco-friendliness. However, some designers are against it as they feel that it goes against all the hard work that they are doing and undermines their efforts.
6. Fashion Events
Africa also has a plethora of fashion events like the Fashion Revolution week, where they promote local brands and raise awareness of these issues. People celebrate Fashion Revolution Week around 90 countries. This event highlights designers working on sustainable fashion and their journeys to increase awareness and get more people to join the bandwagon. This way, eco-friendly designers get to meet and get together with the media, activists, and consumers directly.
7. Education and Empowerment
A lot is taking place in the field of education related to sustainable fashion. Although it’s not easy, people are doing what they can. Fashion designers are trying their best to educate local and younger designers as they enter the market. They are teaching them to focus less on chasing money and more on ethics and sustainability. Brands all around Africa are ramping up their efforts to include the local talent. They are offering specialized training to locals to empower them, create more jobs, and support the local communities.
One of the most significant pollutants in the world is the fashion industry. That is why sustainable fashion is becoming more and more vital for us all. African designers have committed themselves to this cause and are making much headway in this regard.
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