Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.


March 18th, 2015

Getting up Close with…Chris Springs – British Museum/The Africa Centre – Fashion Africa Conference Speaker

In the lead up to our annual event Fashion Africa Conference 2015 we are introducing to you to a selection of the panellists who will be speaking at our conference. They all have an interesting relationship with the African continent and we felt that a short Q&A with them would give you a small snippet of all the exciting and rich conversation you will hear on the panels on the conference date – April 24th 2015.

Tied in with Fashion Revolution Day a day which remembers those who were affected by the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Savar, Bangladesh in 2013. April 24th therefore is a fitting day for us to hold the event to help raise awareness of the negatives that happen and the challenges faced, in the industry. Above all we want to make sure those 1100+ deaths will not be forgotten and to raise the point that this should never happen in the Africa, that continent that we are all connected to and love dearly.

So have a read of our weekly Q&A’s, get familiar and then book your ticket here to attend our one-day event. With 35 speakers over 6 panels it is going to be amazing! And the following and upcoming interviews and the people we interview are a major part of the reason why.

Next up we present Chris Spring the Curator for Northeast, East and South Africa at British Museum and he is also a Trustee for The Africa Centre in London whom we recently announced as an Event Sponsor for Fashion Africa Conference 2015.

Chris is an artist by background and the Author of numerous books including the popular book African Textiles Today (published by The British Museum Press in 2012/3).

AFG: Please give us a synopsis of what you do and your professional connection to African fashion.

Chris Spring: I am Curator of Africa at the British Museum and also an artist I have written a number of books and articles about African textiles, including North African Textiles (1995), Silk in Africa (2002), and African Textiles Today (2012) (Winner: Choice (USA) award for outstanding academic title). I was also privileged to write the introduction to Jacqueline’s great book ‘Fashion Africa’. The exhibition I curated at the BM last year Social fabric: Textiles of Eastern and Southern Africa is touring the UK in 2015/16. I am also responsible for the BM’s substantial and growing collection of contemporary art from Africa.


AFG: In 5 words describe what Africa means to you.

Chris Spring: Artistry, creativity, humour and humanity.

AFG: What in your opinion are the pros and cons of working with African suppliers and manufacturers?

Chris Spring: African suppliers and manufacturers potentially offer higher quality goods than many imports, but need to be competitively priced and offer an uninterrupted flow of product.


AFG: Where do you see the future of Africa’s textile and fashion manufacturing industry going forward?

Chris Spring:  In offering products which are ethically manufactured, expertly and originally designed and which can compete and succeed in both the continental and global markets.


AFG: What would you advise to businesses who wish to enter the African continent for sourcing or manufacturing?

Chris Spring:  I’m going to learn the answers to this at the conference, I hope!

AFG: Why is a conference like Fashion Africa conference so important for our readers to attend?

Chris Spring:  Africa has the potential to be leading the world’s fashion industry in the near future, with her extraordinarily rich textile traditions as a source of inspiration. Everyone who wants to be a part of that revolution should come to the Fashion Africa Conference to share ideas and see how the movement is taking shape!


Thank you Chris!

You can find more about Chris Spring, British Museum and The Africa Centre see the links.

Chris Spring of The British Museum and The Africa Centre will be speaking on the Panel 3B titled Textile Futures – Africa’s Cotton, Leather and Textile Industry Opportunities from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM on April 24th 2015.

Conference details can be found here: and tickets can be bought here: Eventbrite.

Early booking tickets end March 31st and seating is limited so book early to avoid disappointment!




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