Eco Warrior – West African Creatives Receive Spotlight as Ethical Fashion Initiative Announces New Designer Accelerator Participants
After careful consideration, six talented West African creatives have been chosen to participate in the new Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) Designer Accelerator (a flagship of the International Trade Centre – a joint agency of the United Nations and World Trade Organisation). Highlighting the programme’s commitment to African youth, sustainability and diversity, participants selected to enter the two-year programme which will begin in July 2021 are: Atelier V.O, Kente Gentlemen, Laurenceairline, Maöta Studio, Ohiri and Oudy K.
This event aimed to engender discussion among actors associated with the fashion industry on turning fashion into a driver of sustainable development and pandemic recovery and provide guidance for member States to achieve this. The event was organized by the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion.
Paola Deda, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), moderated, posing questions to panelists on such topics as: reducing consumption in rich countries while providing more access in the global South; pursuing long-term quality and sustainability versus producing cheap “fast fashion”; and the impacts of these changes on the environment, workers, and society along the fashion value chain.
The selected participants will receive mentorship from a team of experts with extensive experience working in Africa, fashion and business development. They will also enter the rigorous curriculum of a two-year programme by working with EFI within the production capacity frame already established by each brand to begin developing one collection per year.
They will engage in programme support, workshops and 1-1 mentoring sessions delivered by the Accelerator dedicated team and industry experts in topics including Production Support, Acceleration of the Business Process, Building Brand Value and lots more.
Diary Directory – Creatives selected for new UN Ethical Fashion Initiative African Designer Accelerator
The creatives will receive mentorship from a team of experts with extensive experience working in Africa, fashion and business development including EFI head & founder, Simone Cipriani, co-founder of United Arrows, Hirofumi Kurino and actress and humanitarian Dakore Egbuson-Akande. Topics covered through a series of masterclasses include Compliance, SDGs, Labour Rights & Supply Chain, Collection Plan Development, Market Positioning, Digital Marketing & Sales and Legal Frameworks.
Glitz – West African creatives receive spotlight as Efi announces new Designer Accelerator participants
After careful consideration, six exceptionally talented West African creatives have been chosen to participate in the new Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) Designer Accelerator (a flagship of the International Trade Centre – a joint agency of the United Nations’ and World Trade Organisation). Highlighting the programme’s commitment to African youth, sustainability and diversity, participants selected to enter the two-year programme which will begin in July 2021 are: Atelier V.O, Kente Gentlemen, Laurenceairline, Maöta Studio, Ohiri and Oudy K.
El Pais – “El textil patrimonial es la forma de tejer de los ancestros”: una tribu de artesanos vuelve a las raíces
En otro de los expositores se pueden admirar las coloridas telas que muestra Oceane y que provienen de Burkina Faso. Ethical Fashion Initiative trabaja con algodón orgánico del país africano, donde se fabrican las telas de las prendas y los muñecos expuestos. Telas que, según cuenta Oceane, llegan después a prendas y complementos de firmas como Loewe o Camper. La típica tela de llengues mallorquina, utilizada para muebles, bolsos o zapatos, fue este año eje de atracción de este evento efímero a la isla.
ARAB NEWS – Rags to riches: Italian project launched to help refugees, migrants start fashion career
Camera della Moda has been given the patronage of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a UN project on ethical fashion.
“Fashion Deserves the World” was introduced at the end of Milan Men’s Fashion Week as a part of the initiatives organized in Italy for World Refugee Day, in cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Mygrants, a startup that provides micro-learning programs in three languages to help migrants consolidate their knowledge and find a job.
L’iniziativa ha ottenuto il patrocinio dell’Ethical Fashion Initiative, l’iniziativa delle Nazioni Unite sulla moda etica, e si inserisce nel programma intrapreso da Cnmi nel 2018 per promuovere l’inclusività e la valorizzazione della diversità nella moda. “Insieme”, si augura Christian Richmond Nzi, Founder & Ceo di Mygrants, “continueremo a fare cose folli, rendendole normali”.
In 2014 the brand partnered with Ethical Fashion Initiative, a body that connects artisans living in marginalised communities around the world with global lifestyle brands. Collaborations between MIMCO and EFI have provided work for 1,400 artisans worldwide, 86% of whom are women, focusing particularly on partners in Kenya and Haiti.
El Pais – «Una prenda que nace de la explotación está manchada»: así trabaja Ethical Fashion Initiative, la plataforma que une a artesanos y marcas
En 2006, durante uno de sus viajes por África, Simone Cipriani, un ejecutivo del sector del lujo, recaló en Kogorocho, una zona empobrecida de Nairobi. Allí conoció a Gino Filippini, un misionero que vivía y trabajaba con un grupo de artesanos del calzado. «Vi un oportunidad. Pensé que, con sus habilidades, podrían acceder a mejores condiciones de vida si lograba introducirlos en una cadena de suministro más internacional, que les diera mejores márgenes de beneficio. Contacyté con una organización de las Naciones Unidas que me apoyó para conseguir mi objetivo», cuenta Cipriani.
+Three°°° also collaborates with EFI (Ethical Fashion Initiative), the UN’s ethical fashion program. EFI creates and manages ethical value chains for craftswomen who live in developing countries or that are facing conflicts. EFI also manages several emerging fashion brands from Africa, it abides by the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion and follows a code meant to be respectful of human rights–as defined by ILO (International Labor Organization)–while aiming to lower their social and environmental impact.
BellaNaija – The Ethical Fashion Podcast’s Latest Episode features Lagos-based Designer & Orange Culture Founder, Adebayo Oke-lawal as they discuss Redefining Masculinity through his Luxury Label
Lagos Style – Orange Culture’, the Ethical Fashion Podcast’s latest episode, is the show’s ninth in its twelve-episode series dedicated to African art and creativity. Aired on May 20th, the episode features Orange Culture’s founder Adebayo Oke-Lawal for a discussion on fusing fashion with activism and what that looks like in modern-day Africa.
A pioneer in tackling societal issues through clothing in the region, Oke-Lawal launched Orange Culture in 2011 as a form of creative activism. On its inception, Oke-Lawal insists, “Deciding to create a brand was an intentional decision. I didn’t just want to create another brand that just made clothing. I wanted to create a brand that had some level of emotionality behind it… I love the idea of creating a brand that starts conversations. I really wanted a brand that spoke for things I believe in.”
Adebayo is an inspiration. His work has won him accolades in international fashion circles but it’s his approach to movement building and giving back that wins hearts. He uses his platform to stand up for issues he believes in – not least, fighting toxic masculinity. He also makes time to mentor emerging African designers.
And from Goodee itself, here’s a striking throw pillow made in Africa in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, the United Nations’ fair-trade division. According to the brand, Goodee worked with weavers in Burkina Faso to create the limited-edition cushion, which is made from Burkinabe and Malian textiles and sewn in Kenya.
The possibility of a bland fashion future starts to come to mind, where we are all dressed the same, losing our cultural expression. And worse, where this homogeny came at the cost of cultural heritage and the development of local economies. But there is indeed market potential for culturally-inspired pieces. As noted by Simone Cipriani of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, “Mass production always presents a risk of identity loss. However, I remain convinced that productions linked to cultural identities happening where these identities are developed, benefit local society with work and income.”
How can fashion be a force for good? Goodbye fast fashion! Hello to a better way focused on social and environmental justice, inclusivity and sustainable development. The UN’s Ethical Fashion Initiative acts as a bridge, connecting marginalised artisan communities, often in challenging and remote locations, with some of the biggest names in international fashion. Explore the issues driving the ethical fashion conversation with your hosts UN officer Simone Cipriani and sustainable fashion journalist Clare Press.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative Designer Academy has begun accepting applications from young fashion brands who want to learn about the business of sustainable and ethical fashion as well as take their business to the next level.
The two-year program is open to fashion brands in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Kenya, Mali and Uganda who have been in operation for at least 2 years ranging from RTW, Accessories, Jewellery and/or Footwear with sustainable practices.
BellaNaija – Joram Muzira Job, Model Agent & Judge on ‘Opportunities Are Here Project X’ discusses the thriving Fashion Scene in Kampala & Economic Opportunity in Uganda
The latest episode of the Ethical Fashion Podcast aired on, May 6th. ‘Meet Uganda’s Top Model Agent’ is the Ethical Fashion Podcast’s seventh episode in its Africa-centred series.
This show features a key personality in the Ugandan fashion industry, who is also one of the three judges on the national Opportunities Are Here Project X.
In 2020, Opportunities Are Here Project X premiered in Uganda, presented by the Ethical Fashion Initiative and the EU. A fully digital, televised talent competition, OAH Project X was the continuation of a nationwide call for young entrepreneurs in Africa. Undoubtedly the EFI’s most entertaining endeavor, the show also had a greater mission in mind: to build economic opportunity within the country.
In 2020 The Opportunities Are Here Project X arrived in Uganda, presented by the Ethical Fashion Initiative and the EU.
Surely the EFI’s most fun project to date, this televised talent competition followed a nationwide call for young creative entrepreneurs in Africa. But there’s also serious agenda – building economic opportunity.
The show’s three judges included Joram Muzira Job, Uganda’s top model agent, and in this fabulous interview Joram shares his career story and advice for the next generation coming through.
Mr. Mdingi gained experience in fashion media, retail, styling and art direction before realizing his heart was set on fashion design and, in 2015, starting his own label. Working with local patternmakers and the knitting communities in the Eastern Cape, Mr. Mdingi designs knitwear that bridges the gap between artisanal and modern design.
“Our growth has been like zero to two, not zero to 100, but I am happy with that,” he said. “Our roots are in human hands and what we have at our disposal in this country.”
BellaNaija – The Ethical Fashion Podcast’s discusses Creative Businesses & ‘Made-in-Africa’ + features Studio 189’s Abrima Erwiah & Creative Director, Alexander-Julian Gibbson
“I discovered EFI through a friend who was doing some work with them. They had a call for designers back in 2013-2014 that I responded to and got accepted… What they were trying to do was connect the dots and help build a local fashion industry but also build a product, and at the same time build the market. It was really consistent with what I was trying to do: work with marginalized communities.” says Erwiah.
The Standard – Ethical Fashion Initiative: Studio 189’s Abrima Erwiah on Fashion Artisanship and Made-in-Africa
This episode is guest hosted by American stylist and creative director Alexander-Julian Gibbson.
In this vibrant conversation with Abrima Erwiah, co-founder and president of fashion social enterprise Studio 189, you’ll hear all about creating, running and building a fashion business with purpose in Accra and New York.
Simone is also an officer of the United Nations who is a passionate advocate for fair trade, equal employment, and the promotion of creative micro-enterprises as a vehicle out of poverty.
Led by Simone, EFI has been instrumental in boosting a new generation of rising fashion talent in Africa, showcasing the initiative at several international trade fairs including the EFI Accelerator Programme, the ‘Africa to Rome’ showcase that promoted the works of African designers including Christie Brown and Kiki Clothing,
The Standard – Ethical Fashion Initiative: Stylist Alexander-Julian Gibbson on diversity, creativity and Lagos style
Alexander-Julian Gibbson is a Houston-based stylist and content creator known for his directional shoots for magazines (think GQ, Vogue and Flaunt) and musicians like Patoranking.
This week, Simone and Clare meet the Nigerian-American creative force to discuss Lagos style, why the world is looking to African fashion right now, and career pathways for emerging Black creatives.
+Three°°° collabora con EFI – Ethical Fashion Initiative, il programma di moda etica dell’ONU (di un’agenzia congiunta ONU-WTO, che dal nome International Trade Centre). EFI crea e gestisce filiere di lavoro etiche per artigiane che si trovano a vivere in condizioni di estrema marginalità in paesi in via di sviluppo o affetti da conflitto. Le artigiane di EFI forniscono alcuni fra i maggiori marchi e distributori mondiali di moda. EFI gestisce anche un acceleratore per marchi di moda emergenti in Africa e presiede la UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion.
Elle a ajouté que cette célébration est aussi une occasion pour eux de rappeler l’importance de l’artisanat tout en évoquant les conditions dans lesquelles ils vivent. « Le pop pop de cette édition, par les expositions et les troupes traditionnelles, nous voulons rappeler l’importance de l’artisanat dans le monde et surtout au Burkina Faso. Il faut que nous mettions en lumière leur savoir-faire. Les accompagnements dans ce sens sont rares. Il faut trouver un moyen de les booster pour le Bien-être de nos artisans », a-t-elle déclaré.
Pour information, CABES-GIE est une initiative logée dans le projet Ethical Fashion Initiative qui est un projet initié par des agences conjointes de l’organisation des Nations Unies. Il a été initié pour mettre en relation les communautés défavorisées d’artisanats dans le monde. Les éditions précédentes elle a bénéficié de l’accompagnement de l’Union Européenne. Cependant, à cette édition, CABES-GIE a fonctionné sur fonds propres, selon Judith Sawadogo.
Proprio in occasione dell’Earth Day viene presentata la nuova label +Three°°°.Il nome nasce da un allarmante rapporto dell’UNEP (United Nation Environment Program) che delinea uno scenario in cui entro il 2050 il riscaldamento globale supererà i tre gradi centigradi, innescando alterazioni irreversibili dell’ecosistema globale quali la desertificazione di alcune aree e i fenomeni di gravi eventi atmo- sferici, oltre a colossali migrazioni. +Three°°° collabora con EFI – Ethical Fashion Initiative, il programma di moda etica dell’ONU (di un’agenzia congiunta ONU-WTO, che dal nome International Trade Centre). EFI crea e gestisce filiere di lavoro etiche per artigiane che si trovano a vivere in condizioni di estrema marginalità in paesi in via di sviluppo o affetti da conflitto. Le artigiane di EFI forniscono alcuni fra i maggiori marchi e distributori mondiali di moda. EFI gesti- sce anche un acceleratore per marchi di moda emergenti in Africa e presiede la UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion. EFI applica rigorosamente un codice comportamentale incentrato sul rispetto dei diritti umani, delle condizioni di lavoro come definite nelle convenzioni dell’ILO, sull’applicazione del living wage e su un attenta gestione dell’impatto sia sociale che ambientale.
+Three°°° collabora con EFI – Ethical Fashion Initiative, il programma di moda etica dell’ONU (di un’agenzia congiunta ONU-WTO, che dal nome International Trade Centre). EFI crea e gestisce filiere di lavoro etiche per artigiane che si trovano a vivere in condizioni di estrema marginalità in paesi in via di sviluppo o affetti da conflitto. Le artigiane di EFI forniscono alcuni fra i maggiori marchi e distributori mondiali di moda. EFI gestisce anche un acceleratore per marchi di moda emergenti in Africa e presiede la UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion. EFI applica rigorosamente un codice comportamentale incentrato sul rispetto dei diritti umani, delle condizioni di lavoro come definite nelle convenzioni dell’ILO, sull’applicazione del living wage e su un attenta gestione dell’impatto sia sociale che ambientale.
The Standard – Ethical Fashion Initiative: Designer Margaux Rusita discusses Burundi’s creative future, woman power
The episode is all about ethically-produced fashion and art, but primarily touches on Burundi and the emerging opportunities within its borders.
The designer explains the challenges in finding artisans who are skilled in traditional techniques, how she’s found it possible to succeed at both motherhood and entrepreneurship through “passion, love and perseverance” and how Burundi will learn to appreciate art once more.
Simone Cipriani (Founder and Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative (“EFI”) and Clare Press (Sustainable Journalist and Writer), return to host the second series of the Ethical Fashion podcast, first launched in June 2020 to champion the power of discussion and explore the issues driving the ethical fashion conversation.
+Three°°° collabora infatti con EFI – Ethical Fashion Initiative, il programma di moda etica dell’ONU, la quale crea e gestisce filiere di lavoro etiche per artigiane che si trovano a vivere in condizioni di estrema marginalità in Paesi in via di sviluppo o affetti da conflitto. Un successo quello di EFI, tanto che le sue artigiane forniscono alcuni fra i maggiori marchi e distributori mondiali di moda. EFI gestisce anche un acceleratore per marchi fashion emergenti in Africa e presiede la UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion.