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


June 2nd, 2019

Source Fashion made in Africa – Your Sunday update – #SourceAfrica

Africa’s fashion and textile industry is moving crazy fast these days. And Africa Fashion Guide is THE go to platform to keep you updated on the industry insights. So you can expect a major change from today, delivered to you via our updated youtube channel and via facebook pages, regular insights on Africa’s fashion industry. You can export more articles and features about doing fashion business on the continent the responsible way and you can expect us to help you to stay informed.

So lets’ start here with SOURCE SUNDAY’S looking at various elements around sourcing in Africa.

Today in particular I wanted to share with you three tips on sourcing responsibly in Africa.

I watched a video made by a Facebook influencer recently. He had filmed and interviewed a young Bangladeshi lady who spoke about her life from when she was a child working from 4am in the morning until midnight working for a factory producing fast fashion clothing,  seen on our local high streets. She spoke about the gruesome ordeal she suffered, often feeling she couldn’t breathe in the cramp factory environment. She was a child and for two years she suffered what children should not working ridiculous hours earning less than $2 a day.

So I wanted to provide a solution focused email to share some of the harsh realities of the fashion and textile supply chain and what we as African fashion business owners can do to combat this.

Number one: to visit the place of manufacturing.

At Africa Fashion Guide we host sourcing trips to Africa called F.A.S.T (Fashion Africa Sourcing Trips) to visit the supplier on the ground as well as visiting the trade ministers and business groups and more in particular Africa countries.

When you visit the place of manufacturing you learn to understand the local system to start with as well as learn how you can work WITH the suppliers to build up the industry and bring more foreign trade (not just foreign aid) to the continent.


Number two: respect

This is a strange one to mention but it is foundational for business. Everyone wants to be treated with respect. We don’t have to be liked – which of course is nice but in business mutual respect is the foundation of successful business.

One thing I urge you to NOT do especially for those who work with me in F.A.B. coaching where I provide you with African suppliers to make your first samples, is don’t try to haggle your supplier down to the cheapest of the cheapest price.

This is NOT the solution.

You may not realise when you do this it can cause that supplier to either outsource the work to cheaper homeworkers, or they will force their own workers to work longer hours to meet the order requirements from you.

You should learn to understand your customers well enough to know what can be sold at what price and to sell at a price that is realistic for hand-made and artisan made product.

Many times I found creative entrepreneurs come to me thinking that producing in Africa is what they want to do because they believe it is cheaper. This is so not the case.

Do not think this.

Understand that working by hand for a maker often means their life and soul goes into the work. This then makes it an injustice to sell the product at a low cost, value price. It should be sold at luxury pricing and you should purchase it from the supplier at the price it’s worth.


Number three: get educated. 

The Fashion Revolution platform as well as our own Africa Fashion Guide are two of the best platforms amongst many to share and to learn about ethical fashion in Africa and sustainable sourcing.

I encourage you to get your knowledge on and pass it on.

Learn about sustainable sourcing practices. Ethical fashion terminologies like circular fashion and organic cotton versus conventional cotton, and more.

By equally education your customers about your sourcing and who are making their clothes and how they are made you are taking active responsibility for your clothing production.

Many businesses like H&M and more are now revealing their production supply chain. This is all about transparency. It gives the customer answers to their questions relating to Who Made Your Clothes and the transparency creates a level of openness and respect from your customer.


These tips are just the “tip” of the iceberg really when it comes to doing business responsibly and sourcing sustainably. Every Sunday I will be sharing with you more tips on sourcing in Africa. Do make sure to keep an eye out for your inbox weekly for these insights.

Need more active help with sourcing better in Africa?

Then you can book a call with me at to work closely on your sourcing strategy as a means to accelerate your business forward.

Images from our F.A.S.T Kenya trips – copyright Africa Fashion Guide Ltd

Join us yearly for our sourcing trips to Africa see



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