This Valentines Day Social Enterprise Africa Fashion Guide (AFG) launched their African cotton campaign. Entitled ‘Love From Africa’ the campaign took the catwalk by storm as they launched during London Fashion Week via the Ubuntu International Project at Vauxhall Fashion Scout on Sunday 19th February 2012. Featuring 7 slogan tees all tees have been made from certified organic African grown cotton, sewn and manufactured in Africa by Africans in a GOTS certified factory.
Africa Fashion Guide founder Jacqueline Shaw says,
“We are campaigning to raise awareness of African cotton and the challenges faced by cotton farmers around the continent, not only to create an interest in this textile but to encourage more trade. Through the use of fashion slogan tees, interviews, reports, videos, talks and more we aim to spread the word about the situation of African cotton in the textile market place and bring it to the forefront of the international fashion industry.”
The root and the rationale behind this campaign has been grounded by reports such as The Fairtrade Foundation recent report called ‘The Great Cotton Stitch-Up’. This highlighted complaints especially by cotton farmers from the developing C-4 countries (Cotton 4) – Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Benin – in regards to their struggles and the fact that subsidies that the EU and USA farmers receive that African farmers do not makes it difficult for them to compete internationally. One of the major problems is the value chain of African cotton and that this value is often lost due to the exporting of the raw cotton out of the continent.
“This problem with the lack of subsidies received by African cotton farmers prevents them from competing well internationally. Cotton in many of these countries are the main source of trade and the main export. The importance is that there is the existence of quality cotton in Africa but just around 5% African grown cotton is actually processed in Africa. So the more that is grown and sewn on the continent the better for the textile supply chain and fashion industry in Africa”
Jacqueline and the AFG team highly support the growing promotion and support that the African fashion industry is gaining but are determined and focused on bringing to the industry the story behind the scenes. And to start with they are taking on the cotton industry in Africa and highlighting this.
So from today until September AFG will be developing this awareness campaign through interviews with cotton farmers, cotton specialists, reviews on cotton programs and in particular reviews and highlights from sustainable initiatives like their partner Cotton Made in Africa, the breakdown of projects in Africa which are using African cotton, they question why this topic is such a major issue, they will be speaking with designers who are using African cotton in their collections and also they will be introducing to you these points via their slogan tees.
“We are extremely excited about this as we worked alongside the Ubuntu International Project to showcase our slogan tees on their catwalk show during London Fashion Week.’ Jacqueline says. “The tees all look great, the slogans are powerful and effective and we hope they make an impact too”
Tees will be available to purchase via their facebook shop from March 1st. So do stay connected for regular updates and to hear how you can gain your opportunity to own a piece of organic African cotton by purchasing one of their slogan tees.
Model – Yemi Fatola
Images courtesy – AO-Photography – www.ao-photography.co.uk
Author: Jacqueline Shaw