The Ethical Fashion Initiative works with African designers to promote local fashion talent and develop the industry on the continent. 

We showcase the creativity and talent of African Designers, as well as encouraging manufacturing with African artisans, and supporting the development of export capacities. 

The Ethical Fashion Initiative’s African Designer programme first launched in 2013 and operated out of Ghana. In Ghana, the Ethical Fashion Initiative has helped set up a garment production centre where quality clothing and accessories can be produced by African artisans, currently known as the PDC. 

 

Beat of Africa at Biffi Boutique, 2015. Photo by Solange Souza

Design Mentorship

The Design Mentorship programme has helped to put Africa on the global fashion map, through exhibiting African design at top industry events, and mentoring and guidance from industry experts. 

Working with international fashion scouts, we have brought designers from the continent to events such as Vogue Fashion Night Out, Pitti l’Uomo, and AltaRoma.  

See some of the designers that we have worked with below…

1981

AAKS

AMEYO

Anita Quansah 

APiF

Barkers-Woode

Buki Akib 

Chocolate By Kwaku Bediako

Christie Brown

Dent de Man

Duaba Serwa

Ikire Jones

Kiki Clothing

Lisa Folawiyo

Lukhanyo Mdingi

MaXhosa by Laduma

Mimi Plange

Mina Evans

MO SAIQUE

Orange Culture

Projecto Mental

Sindiso Khumalo

Sophie Zinga

Radford Collective

Studio 189

U.Mi-1

EFI is currently partnering with the African Fashion Fund on the development of The Impact Fund for African Creatives (IFFAC). Launched in late 2018 at the Paris Peace Forum, the Fund has a target of 100.0 focused on mobilising private capital for investments into the creative and cultural industries in Africa.

IFFAC seeks to address the gap between public intervention and business reality in the creative and cultural sectors of Africa. This significant ‘funding gap’ within the creative and cultural industries in Africa is due to perceived high risks and/or low estimated returns for private investors. However, such investments are often ideal for blended finance arrangements where donors and public stakeholders contribute with technical assistance, risk coverage etc., in order mitigate risk and facilitate more predictable and risk adjusted rates of return for private investors on the part of their impact investments.

The Fund’s main objectives are:

Identify top talent in African creative industries and improve the success rates of these creative entrepreneurs by providing much needed 1) capital and funding support for the creative ecosystem and  2) access to industry knowledge, education in skills like leadership/management, entrepreneurship and supply chain as well as mentorship;
Provide extra support for women entrepreneurs to promote a gender balanced programme;
Contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals;
Create high-quality jobs for Africa’s youth by supporting businesses in the creative ecosystem;
Improve global positioning and integration of African artists through participation in major global events;
Highlight and export Africa’s rich and diverse culture and artistry that continues to be underrepresented on the world stage.
Achieve risk-adjusted market rates of return while creating significant social and environmental value.

As one of the first funds of this type and scale, definitions of the legal structure and mechanisms of the Fund are still being defined diligently by our teams, and news on the advancements of the Fund will be shared in due course. Our team is also in the process of raising the Fund’s capital from institutional investors including development finance institutions, impact investors, high-net worth individuals, family offices and foundations.

In parallel with IFFAC, we are developing an Accelerator Programme to facilitate the growth of a first pool of African brands, with the potential for these brands to become beneficiaries of IFFAC at a later stage. To launch the Accelerator, we will shortly be issuing a call for interest to select approximately 6-8 brands to take part in a fashion show in an international fashion capital, alongside some of the biggest names in the industry.

Ashish Shah (ITC), Giorgio Ficarelli (EU), Roberta Annan and Simone Cipriani at the Launch of the IFFAC at the Paris Peace Forum in 2018. Photo: Laurent Harbulot