Fashionprenuers focus on rebuilding sector with digital solutions in post-COVID era
The disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic on global value chain and its impact on African businesses is already evident.
As factories close, the border closures and travel restrictions interrupt supply chains, the workers – the most vulnerable and lowest paid people in the fashion supply chain – have been left to feel the worst effects.
To tackle the issue, about 88 attendees last Thursday joined a webinar hosted by the African Development Bank’s Fashionomics Africa initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme to find possible solutions.
The webinar among other things, focused on building more resilient value chains through innovative business models that would use renewable materials and recycle old clothes into new products.
The panel was composed of industry experts and creative minds behind sustainable African fashion brands.
It was to enable African entrepreneurs operating in the textile, apparel and accessories industry to create and grow their businesses, with a focus on women and youth.
Participants agreed that it was important to develop a healthy fashion industry in Africa to meet the needs of consumers while others suggested a strong collaboration among fashionpreneurs to help resolve challenges faced in the industry.
As part of the forum, digital experts were also seeking to develop applications to analyse the impact of the textile sector on climate change and environment to help deploy climate-friendly solutions in Africa.
Other contributors indicated that digital tools had become a phenomenon and had revolutionised the way the fashion industry worked, hence the need to educate designers and consumers in the fashion industry.
The Fashionomics Africa initiative intends to contribute to the African Textile, Apparel & Accessories industry by increasing the number of entrepreneurs in the sector, while helping them to access markets through e-commerce capabilities, and boosting their access to finance, as well as technical and business skills, among others.