Three brands selected for Kenya Accelerator
EFI has selected three Kenyan designers to participate in the second Ethical Fashion Initiative Accelerator programme; Katush by Katungulu Mwendwa, SUAVE and HAMAJI.
The chosen designers all share a commitment to sustainability, using reclaimed and organic fabrics to create their collections, whilst noting their country and upbringing in Kenya as heavily inspiring their work.
The launch of the EFI Kenya Fashion Accelerator highlights the distinct design talent within Kenya and follows the organisation’s successful launch of their nationwide accelerator search in 2019. Selected designers benefit from mentoring and brand development from the EFI team and industry experts.
“I feel hugely honoured and extremely excited to be a part of the EFI accelerator programme, to have this opportunity to expand my knowledge and be mentored in the development of my brand in a sustainable approach with international and local expertise in Kenya” says selected brand HAMAJI.
Mohammed Awale of SUAVE says of their selection: “I’m really overjoyed to be selected for the EFI Kenya accelerator program. Looking forward to learning from the vast EFI network.”
While Katush by Katungulu Mwendwa says of being selected to join the programme: “This is completely surreal! There have been times where it has felt completely overwhelming to have to learn to wear a thousand hats with limited guidance, and like an answer to a prayer often said, this comes as a strong statement of encouragement.”
Simone Cipriani, Head and Founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative at the UN’s International Trade Centre says: “The continued development of our designer accelerator programmes in Africa, provide a new generation of African design talent the opportunity to engage with the international market. Through education and mentoring we seek to equalise the playing field, giving exposure to the incredible talent that exists on the continent. Each region in Africa has its own unique creative voice. Being able to launch a programme dedicated to Kenya – the country where EFI began its journey and where it has some of the most beautiful collaborations – is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight the creative visionaries that set this country apart.”
“Being able to launch a programme dedicated to Kenya – the country where EFI began its journey and where it has some of the most beautiful collaborations – is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight the creative visionaries that set this country apart.”
The Kenya Accelerator is supported by ACP
European Commission’s Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States- ACP is a business-friendly programme supporting value chains through inclusive policies, investment promotion and alliances. It is implemented under ITC’s Alliances for Action (A4A) a participatory partnership model that engages MSMEs in order to manage risk and facilitate networks that provide the required technical expertise, capacity building, and targets cyclical investment to address economic challenges.