African culture and fashion

Culture is the root of any society, and the tree is its rich heritage. Each society has its own unique cultural characteristics. An exquisite taste in music, art and fashion are some of the significant forms to describe traditional and cultural.

One of the important parts of this cultural exhibition that is appreciated and recognized worldwide is the fashion industry. An industry rich in cultural manifestation and full of potential to bring about sustainable development not only for the country it belongs to but for the entire world, the fashion industry of a nation is representative of its heritage, history and much more.

This is the idea that the designers in Africa are currently working on. To create a brand, a product must not only match the standards at the international platform, but it must also reduce the maximum pollution and waste created by the textile industry.

The African “Fashion Evolution”

The fashion industry all over the world has grown exponentially over the past few years. The African fashion industry gave an epidemic boost to its economy and has led to considerable development in the continent. However, the wastage and pollution that the industry has created cannot be ignored. South Africa alone contributed to around 10.37% of water wastage by the textile industry.

Looking at this deteriorating condition of environment and wastage,  several young fashion designers and brands have stepped forward to encourage sustainable development and produce clothes and materials in an economical way with minimum wastage.

African Discouragement of “Fast Fashion”

Today, “Fast Fashion” is comparatively cheaper yet stylish, inexpensive to produce, easily discarded and replaced quickly. It is highly responsible for the unsustainable state of the textile industry which contributes to almost 20% of water wastage around the world.

Ghanaian entrepreneur and the founder of the African Fashion Fund, Ms. Roberta Annan, encourage Africans in the global fashion arena but discourages them from resorting to Fast Fashion. Her goal is to create sustainable products because of her belief in Africa rising as the next hub of the creative economy.

Fashion Brands and Sustainability

If we carefully analyse  African brands and fashion, there are many young designers in the creative industry who work passionately to achieve sustainable production and design of clothing. Fashion brands and designers who are partaking in this endeavour and encouraging sustainable development, are running some of the fast-growing brands in the world today.

For example, Tonle, founded by Rachel Faller, stringently follows the zero-waste policy. The Cambodia-based company uses every last thread to produce hand-made clothes and accessories. The brand also recycles their own paper, from tiny scraps of fabric and leftover papers.

Mozambique’s first upcycling clothing brand finds the twin sisters, Nelly and Nelsa Guambe, roaming the vintage market and upcycling and recycling the vintage clothes into fashionable, modern and unique clothes. Instead of creating the clothes from scratch, they found a new and interesting way to start a fashion label that was eco-friendly and unique.

The Global Responsibility

Sustainable development refers to the idea of utilizing resources in such a manner that the needs of the future generation is not compromised. This is the idea that young fashion designers in Africa are trying to inculcate in their work and creativity. They shoulder the responsibility of creating masterpieces that are not just profitable but sustainable too.

There are eco-responsible brands and designers from the African continent, a few mentioned above who teach the entire fashion industry an exquisite and sustainable way of cloth production. The idea behind going sustainable is to create an awareness and a sense of responsibility among the fashion designers; to make them realise that they shoulder the responsibility of not just being creative, but also the responsibility of making it ecologically acceptable.