AFRICA’S FASHION INDUSTRY
With the fashion industry being one of the hardest-hit sectors in Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts have urged investors in the sector to embrace innovation in order to remain afoot.
In a webinar organized by the African Development Bank, experts and sector players said African designers should develop their unique business models and take advantage of online tools to strengthen businesses.
In a report published in April, Boston Consulting Group said business decision-makers and sustainability professionals in the fashion industry should protect critical assets to survive the economic crisis.
Additionally, fashion companies must safeguard workers, capital, value chain partnerships, channels, and trust as well as the support of their customers. The report said there is a need to integrate sustainability throughout business recovery strategies noting that sustainability will be imperative for strong companies after the crisis.
The African fashion industry has been evolving significantly over the recent past, with many designers from across the continent taking part in the international arena to showcase their designs and creativity.
African Fashion Week has provided a key platform for designers to showcase what the continent has to offer to the world. According to Euromonitor, a global market research firm, the apparel and footwear market in Sub-Saharan Africa is worth $31 billion.
However, like many other sectors, Africa’s fashion industry has been hit hard by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has infected 164,985 and killed 4,627 people across the continent by June 4.
The lockdown measures imposed by different countries as well as the social distancing have led to cancellation and postponement of social events such as weddings, parties and cultural events, which are key areas that bring huge business to the sector.
Many designers have been left in distress as customers who had large orders cancelled them. This is despite the fact that the designers had already bought the materials.
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