The Zimbabwean Brands Inspiring a New Movement of Sustainable Fashion
Fashion is arguably one of the longest-serving industries in the world. No matter how far you go back in history, you are sure to discover the trade of clothes, shoes or accessories. Modern-day concerns of fashion are linked with its sustainable practices. Consumers are more conscious of the environmental impact the fashion industry has and are seeking more sustainable brands.
Environmental sustainability is an imperative issue that the world should tackle collectively. In the fashion industry, sustainability has been closely associated with practices aiming to achieve a carbon-neutral sector based on equality, social justice, animal welfare, and ecological integrity. This is beyond textiles and products as it incorporates the whole product life cycle—addressing how the clothes are made, consumed and disposed.
Traditionally, Africa has a good track record of sustainability with numerous brands utilizing environmentally friendly materials in clothes production such as natural fibers, raffia, silk, and cotton. African textiles like Bogolanfini from Mali and Kente from Ghana are examples of eco-friendly methods in African fashion production as they are made from eco-friendly dyes.
The African fashion ecosystem creates value for numerous players in the sector as designers support local artisanal talent and craftsmanship. Across the continent, brands such as Ayissi, MaXhosa, and Nkwo have led the movement of sustainable fashion.A new wave of Zimbabwean designers are catering to the need for sustainability in fashion as they are creating products from upcycled materials. Brands such as Zuvva, Zimbabwean Sunshine, Rozebowl and more have sparked a movement of green fashion in the country. Events such as the Skeyi and Strobo Fabrik Party are one of the platforms that celebrate this community, with local brands showing their work on the runway.