Sustainable African Fashion

It’s hard nowadays not to hear about climate change. It’s a topic of frequent conversation, along with all the other elements tied to it, like “eco-friendly” and “sustainable.”

Industries around the world are thinking about how to be more eco-friendly and sustainable, and that includes the almighty fashion industry. I recently wrote a story about sustainability in Africa’s fashion industry and I found it interesting that many African designers already practice sustainable methods by traditional and by necessity.

In fact, a fashion entrepreneur named Ayotunde Rufai, CEO and founder of, told me:

“Sustainability is a darling word now in the industry, but African designers have always practiced sustainability. African designers are more resourceful when using fabric. They’re careful to minimize waste. Made-to-order is more common and the African fashion market is not as seasonal as the mainstream Western market.”

Check out my story on sustainable African fashion in Quartz:

The biggest concerns over unethical practices in Africa’s fashion landscape is the heavy dependence on imported garments and materials from Asia and the West which often contain traces of hazardous chemicals as well as the use of plastics and toxic chemicals dyes that may include bleach or lye residues that could end up in natural or municipal water sources. Read more here. 

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