As the fashion industry grows, Designer's Consociate are trying to guide it towards a more sustainable and socially conscious future.
The world of fast fashion's day of reckoning is quickly approaching as consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of it. Education is key and here's how new initiative Designer's Consociate is promoting conscious consumerism.
Fashion plays a major role in the global economy, with annual worldwide revenues of well over $1 trillion, supporting hundreds of millions of jobs around the world. This success comes at a high cost to the environment and has done for decades but now, brands are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact and taking steps to reduce the negative effect the clothing industry has on the planet.
There are some exciting consumer trends, new technologies and innovative business models helping to lead the future of fashion down a more sustainable path. With buzzwords such as 'eco' and 'green' being used often, sustainable fashion is certainly a hot topic but what does it really mean?
Well, the change starts from us. Consumers need to demand more transparency when it comes to how and where their clothes are made. As well as transparency, we need to demand fair and living wages for the people who make our clothes, use of alternative materials which are less damaging to the environment such as organic cotton, hemp and recycled fibres. The more we demand that the fashion world holds itself accountable, the more it will be forced to.
Organisations like Designer's Consociate are ensuring that the conversation of ethical and sustainable fashion in Nigeria and Africa-wide are being had. They are committed to ensuring that designers are more mindful and socially conscious concerning the way they manufacture and produce their clothing.
According to their website:
Designers Consociate is committed to engineering growth and development by creating sustainable solutions across the fashion industry's supply chain. From creative collaborations to innovation led partnerships to business and brand developments embodying industry advocacy; we are a catalyst for a dynamic fashion industry.
The Designer Shirt Project
Last year, Designer's Consociate teamed up with Lagos Fashion Week and The Human Capital Development centre to bring to the forefront the work of the NEPC HCDC apparel manufacturing training center, which over the last couple of years has through training, created a skilled set of garment manufacturers, now co-operating as a factory.
The project consisted of 6 designers coming forward to recreate the classic shirt and turn into something far more unique and creative. Pieces were released in limited quantities and sold out to eager fashion lovers who wanted a piece of the eco capsule collection.
Founder Zara Odu said, “We believe that as we continue to push this agenda, designers will be more inclined to source and produce locally – ultimately further developing our industry and increasing economic growth”. We are proud to announce that all the shirts are manufactured in cotton – grown, woven and hand dyed in northern Nigeria (sourced by our friends at @thisisusng)".
Heineken Lagos Fashion Week
Lagos Fashion Week (LFW) is a four-day fashion event bringing together buyers, consumers, and the media, to view the collections of the best African designers, in Lagos, the fashion capital of Nigeria. As one of the leading fashion events on the African fashion calendar, the platform aims to drive the Nigerian and ultimately, the African fashion industry through its continued dedication to the growth and promotion of creative, as well as gradually reposition fashion as a tool for commerce and creativity on the continent. LFW offers access to approximately 7000 local and international guests over the four-day period.
Human Capital Development Center
The NEPC HCDC is an apparel manufacturing training center that’s designed to co-operate as a factory. This is part of a two-pronged strategy to ensure that students gain exposure to the “Best of Nigerian” manufacturing while training and simultaneously, produce well-made apparels for export under AGOA – the African Growth and Opportunities Act.