Africa is most affected by the environmental pollution of the western world. As the western world is taking more actions to prevent environmental pollution especially in the last 10 years, so have two African fashion events, which took place last year, contributed to this cause. These events are The Nigeria Fashion Week (NFW) 2011 and the Zimbabwe Fashion Week (ZFW) 2011.
Both events took a ‘green’ direction by organizing their show fully in a green theme. Each event used the green theme differently and both were organized with a goal to create awareness about environmental issues and the importance of a sustainable environment. I wonder what difference such an event makes in a nation which is rather a victim of environmental pollution, compared to the western world. Will this challenge Africans to contribute to a more eco-friendly world? We contacted both organizing teams to see to which extent their event went green and what impacts the events have made since.
The Nigerian Fashion week took place on 16 November till 19 November and their theme was: Nigeria goes green. Every designer had to create a collection for the fashion week with clothing made of recycled materials and accessories. The participating designers included Ama Glow, Amaks Designs, Frankoo designs, Modela Couture and more. On the other hand, Mr. Bay Adegbe, founder of Modela Couture used sack cloth and fish scales for his collection. The green theme was fully incorporated into the collection of every designer who participated in the Nigeria Fashion week.
One of the issues Nigeria fashion week addressed was waste management. Across Nigeria, many communities flush garbage in parts of the country, where the garbage resulted in clogs and water pollution. The top five major waste products in Nigeria are plastic sachets, paper, scrap metals, glass bottles and plastic bottles. Fashion designer Boma-Inko Tariah, for example incorporated recycled paper and tin can to bring this problem under the attention of the public.
We interviewed the organizers of Nigeria Fashion week about the theme of their event and the impact that it has made to Nigeria and/or Africa as a whole.
We discovered some interesting facts about the two fashion weeks.
Nigerian Fashion week
- Participating designers were very excited about the Going Green Theme of the NFW 2011. Although the concept was very new to them, they rose up to the challenge.
- The impact that the Nigerian theme has had is that it has drawn a lot of awareness to environmental sustainability among designers and the general public like never before.
- The Nigerian attitute towards envorimental pollutionis is that Nigerians have not been activelly supporting, because of lack of enlightenment and information.
- Other events for the coming fashion weeks will remain at environmental issues. This year’s theme is Going Green 2. It is to continue from where NFW ended last year.
- The Going Green theme has been the most influential because it attracted attention from all over the world
The organizers of Nigeria fashion week are also organizers of The Nigeria Fashion Show, the Nigeria Fashion week, the Nigeria Fashion Awards and the Nigeria Model Awards.
In the video below is a short interview from CNN with fashion designer Mr. Bay Adegbe.
The Zimbabwe Fashion week took place on the 31st of August till 3 September in Harare City. The name of their theme was Think & Live green. Unlike the Nigerian Fashion week, Zimbabwe fashion week incorporated the color green only. They incorporated the color green into their logo and ticket fliers. Opposing to NFW, which prompted all designers to use eco-friendly materials for their collection, Zimbabe fashion week had a few designers who used eco-friendly materials. All designers had to use local fabrics and local products. The participating designers were mainly Zimbabwean designers of which included Sindiso Sibanda, Yvonne Watazda, Alpharose, Colin Ratisai and more. International designers included Thula SIndi, Nadege Cezette and Christine Wolf. We organized Darry Dopasi, who is part of the organizing theme.
Also, interesting facts about the Zimbabwe fashion week.
- The impact that the event has made is that it has helped people realize that the fashion world is also trying to save the world and it has also given awareness to most Zimbabweans about it.
- The management of Zimbabwe fashion week believes that over the past years fashion has evolved but they are convinced that they still need to break barriers hence their theme this year.
- About their expectations of eco-friendliness and the future. “In the future I am sure we will see more Eco friendly clothes being manufactured. Fabrics like linen and silk those are the kind of fabrics of the future.”
Regarding the impact that both events have made within their countries, I would say that a green theme is definitely a step towards a direction where there is awareness concerning environmental pollution. It is an example of using fashion shows as a platform to point out environmental issues. The step is positive. Whether the step is influential is another question to answer. Let’s give it a few years to see where the developments surrounding environmental pollution are going and whether the western world will take more actions against it. Great to know that Nigeria Fashion week 2012 will have another green theme called Going green 2. A part 2 is a sign that the previous part was a success.
More about the Nigeria Fashion week
More about the Zimabwe fashion week