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Friday 14th of June 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

Through ITME Africa & Middle East 2023, Kenya Will Lead the Modernization of the African Textile Industry (30th November–2nd December).

From November 30 to December 2, 2023, representatives from 18 nations will congregate in Nairobi to create new business alliances, investigate opportunities, and connect with the region’s textile industry in order to provide brand-new client leads.
The event, which is being hosted by the India ITME Society, will give participating businesses the chance to network with importers, buyers, agents, and dealers from other African nations, including those interested in revitalizing or bolstering their textile industries, in addition to those from Kenya.

India, Turkey, Taiwan, Italy, Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Austria, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Germany, Rwanda, Spain, and other countries will be represented in ITME Africa & Middle East 2023 as textile technologists and manufacturers of machinery.

The event is being excitedly viewed by Indian businesses as a chance to increase their consumer base in the emerging and untapped markets of the Middle East and Africa.

Major brands and manufacturers have already indicated their participation in this, including Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd (LMW), A.T.E. Huber Envirotech, Luwa India, Kusters Calico, Gurjar Gravers, Hindtex Industries, Lakshmi Card Clothing, Perfect Equipments, Precision Rubber Industries, Rosari Biotech, S B Dyesprings, Weavetech Engineers, ALG Group (South Africa), Almac Laser, Yamuna Machine, Chinese, Italian, Ghanaian, Turkish, and Taiwanese national pavilions will display their countries’ technological and engineering prowess.

ITME Africa & Middle East 2023 is positioned to be more than an event or an exhibition and proposes to bring complete solutions for the textile industry to the table, affordable technology, international exposure, learning, and experience, as well as a confluence of business houses, investment opportunities, joint ventures, access to finance, and networking with technocrats and educators, paving the way for a wave of knowledge, progress, growth, and prosperity.

In order to secure their support for this event by encouraging visitor engagement activities, the India ITME Society Team individually visited the Indian Embassy, Government Organizations, and Associations in Kenya.
The Kenyan government and industry bodies firmly support this technology and business event.

In order to network with trade groups, government representatives, and industry members, there is also the option for a group industry delegation to attend the event.

Creating this opportunity for the textile industry, textile engineering, and related industries to explore new frontiers in Africa and the Middle East has taken a lot of work on the part of the India ITME Society.

By signing up on our website, www.itme-africa.com, we cordially encourage you to take part as an exhibitor or a visiting delegate.
Visit https://youtu.be/VtBqO3bxICE to watch the audiovisual presentation about the event.

We are pleased to have you attend this special occasion and eagerly await your participation in ITME Africa & Middle East 2023 – “The Right Place & the Right Time to Aspire, Compete, Explore Prosperity Through Textile Technology & Engineering.”

Content courtesy of India International Textile Machinery Exhibitions Society & NFH

Unveiling the Unique Elegance: A Glimpse into the World of Kenyan Fashion

The essence and uniqueness of a country are reflected in fashion, which acts as a canvas for cultural expression. Kenya, a nation rich in history, variety, and a thriving fashion sector that captures its distinct history and modern influences, is located in the heart of East Africa.
Kenyan fashion skillfully combines the old and the new, fusing traditional craftsmanship with contemporary interpretations to produce a tapestry of styles that continues to amaze the world.
This essay goes deeply into the alluring world of Kenyan fashion, examining its multifaceted cultural heritage, cutting-edge styles, and path to global acclaim.

Cultural Fusion: A Tapestry of Traditions

Kenyan fashion is an embodiment of the nation’s cultural diversity, celebrating over 40 ethnic groups, each with its distinct traditional attire and craftsmanship. The Maasai, known for their vibrant beadwork and bold patterns, contribute to Kenya’s fashion narrative with their iconic shukas (traditional blankets) and intricate jewelry. The Kikuyu, on the other hand, add their unique touch with brightly colored fabrics and finely detailed embroidery.

However, it’s the art of weaving and hand-dyeing fabrics by the Luo community that has gained international attention. The “Kanga,” a rectangular piece of cloth adorned with intricate designs and Swahili proverbs, stands as a symbol of unity and cultural pride, transcending regional boundaries.

Innovative Design: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

The Kenyan fashion scene is not confined to the echoes of the past; it thrives on innovation and modern interpretations. Emerging designers are adept at infusing traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics, creating clothing that resonates with both local and global audiences. These designers experiment with fabrics, colors, and silhouettes, often finding inspiration in nature, wildlife, and urban landscapes.

Brands like “Nairobi Apparel District” and “KikoRomeo” have mastered the art of fusing traditional fabrics with modern designs, capturing the essence of Kenya’s multifaceted identity. The incorporation of sustainable practices, such as ethical sourcing and eco-friendly materials, further propels Kenyan fashion onto the international stage, resonating with the growing global demand for conscious clothing.

Global Recognition: From Local Markets to International Catwalks

Kenyan fashion’s journey from local markets to international catwalks is a testament to its growing influence. Nairobi, the capital city, has become a hub for fashion events, with platforms like the Nairobi Fashion Week showcasing the diversity and talent of Kenyan designers. Additionally, fashion enthusiasts and influencers from around the world are drawn to Kenya’s unique designs, often incorporating them into their own wardrobes.

International designers and brands are taking note of Kenya’s fashion scene, collaborating with local artisans to infuse their collections with an authentic touch. The incorporation of traditional Kenyan fabrics and craftsmanship into global fashion trends not only boosts Kenya’s economy but also fosters cross-cultural collaborations that celebrate diversity.

Empowering Communities: Fashion as a Catalyst for Change

Beyond aesthetics, Kenyan fashion serves as a catalyst for social change and economic empowerment. Many fashion initiatives prioritize sustainability and fair trade practices, providing employment opportunities for local artisans, especially women. By preserving traditional crafts and investing in skill development, these initiatives uplift communities and empower individuals, allowing them to showcase their talents on a global stage.

Conclusion

Kenyan fashion is more than just fabric and design; it’s a dynamic reflection of the nation’s history, diversity, and aspirations. From the intricate beadwork of the Maasai to the modern interpretations of emerging designers, Kenya’s fashion scene is a captivating blend of tradition and innovation. As the world continues to embrace the beauty of cultural diversity, Kenyan fashion stands poised to make an indelible mark, showcasing the nation’s rich tapestry of stories and talents on the global stage.

Content courtesy of NFH Digital Team

Kenyan Fashion: Making Kenya’s Fashion Industry More Efficient

Kenya’s apparel sector needs to close the loop. Over 400,000 tons of cotton waste are produced annually in Kenya by the apparel industry.
Global climate targets may or may not be achieved due to the fashion sector. Being the second-largest consumer of water, the sector is responsible for 4 to 10 percent of world emissions.
Being the second-largest consumer of water, the sector is responsible for 4 to 10 percent of world emissions.
A persistent increase in the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) has raised incomes everywhere, encouraging customers to buy new clothes more frequently, which could make the situation worse.
To keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the industry must cut emissions by 45 percent in absolute terms by 2030. Without quick action, emissions will yet increase to 1.588 gigatons by 2030.

To accomplish this reduction in emissions, the industry will need to address the substantial amount of garbage it generates. One factor is post-production textile waste, since up to 20% of the fabric used to make garments is lost. Via transportation to landfills or emissions emitted during the burning of textiles, this garbage generates its own emissions.

Waste management presents particular difficulties in East Africa. The area generates a sizable portion of the world’s textile manufacturing, which results in a sizable amount of post-production trash.
An estimated 400,000 tons of cotton waste are produced by the clothing industry each year in Kenya.

Despite having the ability to recycle materials, manufacturers do not have circular waste-to-value solutions that preserve the value of textiles. Because of this, textiles are frequently transformed into inferior materials with limited usefulness, such as floor mats, pillow filling, and insulation material.

Waste reduction strategies that are revolutionary are required for the apparel industry in East Africa and beyond.
Successful implementation of these solutions is being demonstrated by one partnership in Kenya.
As other nations transition their fashion businesses toward more sustainable practices, their work may offer important lessons for them.
As a result, both the global climate goals and economic growth will be aided by this change.

A New Alliance Is Altering The Fashion Industry.
A middleman who can transform trash into sustainable raw materials for the manufacture of new garments is necessary to reduce waste across the supply chain, from manufacturing to recycling.
Closing the Loop on Textile Waste in Kenya fills that need.
They make use of a cutting-edge chemical recycling process created by the American company PurFi, which turns textile waste into high-quality products that can be recycled again and again in fresh production.

To reduce waste, the fashion industry in East Africa and beyond needs innovative solutions.

Compared to conventional methods for recycling textile waste, this system utilizes 99 percent less water, up to 90 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and 90 percent less energy.
More than 15,000 chemicals, some of which are toxic, are involved in the production of clothing, so chemical use itself is not environmentally friendly; however, PurFi’s cutting-edge rejuvenation technology maintains a closed process that absorbs the recycling chemicals back into the resulting fabric.

The collaboration not only has positive effects on the climate but also shows how social fairness and environmental impact are intertwined. They provide training to previously unemployed women in the neighborhood, assisting in securing fair and secure employment that enables them to support their families.

The 36,000 kg of rubbish that this all-female sorting staff processes each month is being increased to 100,000 kg each month.
The collaboration has thus far sold 100,000 kg of textile cotton waste collectively.

A successful 2018 project from India served as the foundation for this multistakeholder program, which is being managed by the nonprofit Enviu and includes PurFi and Upset Sourcing East Africa.
The absence of recycling options and rising textile manufacturing in Kenya provided the ideal setting for the cooperation to imitate India’s model.
The Global Goals 2030 (P4G) and Partnering for Green Growth (P4G) State-of-the-Art Partnership Awards honor the most significant collaborations worldwide that are advancing new business models each year.

For its efforts to revolutionize textile recycling throughout Africa, Closing the Loop on Textile Waste received the Partnership of the Year for 2021 award, which was presented at COP26.

The future of Kenya’s fashion industry and Closing the Loop
The work of Closing the Loop is taking place at a crucial juncture as Kenya’s significance in the fashion sector is rising quickly.
Kenya’s Big Four Strategy, which places an emphasis on job creation in the manufacturing sector and raised living conditions, lists the restoration of the local textile industry as one of the country’s top priorities.
The expansion of textile manufacturing for export has also been encouraged by recent trade agreements and the establishment of special economic zones.
As a result, it is anticipated that over the next five years, Kenya’s export of textiles and apparel will rise by 25% annually.

Even though Kenya’s textile sector will increase significantly, post-production waste is already amassing as a result.
With two crucial strategies, the collaboration is seeking to develop alongside the sector and include recycling methods in the supply chain:

1. Public-private Partnership
Closing the Loop has a unique potential to assist both government organizations and clothing manufacturers in addressing the problem of textile waste thanks to their waste-to-value solution.

The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development in Kenya’s Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA), which is in charge of fostering export-oriented business projects, has been enlisted by the collaboration.
To manage the enormous amounts of textile waste produced by large clothing manufacturers inside their agency, EPZA needs viable and circular solutions. 450 new production lines are being built simultaneously inside EPZA, which will increase the amount of waste generated after production.

Closing the Loop can help EPZA by working together to give the agency the circular solutions they now lack. As a result of the partnership’s access to the textile waste produced by both old and new production lines, they will be able to recycle even more materials.

Meanwhile, in Kenya, waste management firms and producers have entered sourcing agreements with the collaboration. The collaboration is able to accurately track waste across their supply chain by developing an extensive connection with vendors. Given the intricate network of middlemen that source and produces items, product traceability is frequently challenging. In order to better reduce and recycle garbage, the collaboration will be able to better identify the areas where it is produced by collaborating closely with a variety of firms.

2. Scale And Efficiency Improvements
Via its partnerships, Closing the Loop will be able to access and recycle more waste than ever before. On the other hand, the collaboration will need to operate more effectively and on a greater scale in order to be able to process such a large volume of waste. In light of this, Closing the Loop intends to grow by moving to a bigger location where it will have access to more tools, staff members, and post-production materials. The alliance will be able to sift the enormous volume of rubbish they will receive as a result.

Solving environmental difficulties in textile production will not only mitigate climate change but also give a $192 billion total boost to the world economy by 2030.

Extending their work will have financial advantages for the partnership and the areas they serve in addition to significant trash reduction. The price per sorted kilogram of waste will decrease as waste volume from suppliers is increased and sorter output is increased. Additionally, this will enable the collaboration to keep creating socially just jobs and support Kenya’s Big Four Agenda.

In the long run, Closing the Loop intends to spread its technology throughout Kenya and create a network of strong, neighborhood textile waste centers. Recycled post-production waste would be given back to the original producers by this network. They would then make it possible for waste to flow continuously for regeneration.

If the agreement is successful, it will significantly aid Kenya’s textile industry in making the shift from its current inefficient informal waste methods to a formal circular system.

Establishing A Globally Sustainable Fashion Business
The Closing the Loop on Textile Waste effort demonstrates that it is feasible to transition to circular textile waste management, promote social fairness, and generate employment in the areas where the sector has the most negative effects.
This all-encompassing model shows how local solutions can contribute more to the shift to sustainable practices. Moreover, some solutions may have significant advantages: By 2030, addressing environmental issues in the textile industry would help the world economy gain $192 billion in benefits in addition to reducing climate change.

P4G is creating a network of collaborations that, like Closing the Loop, turn trash into a resource for the textile, plastic, and food industries.

Completing the Loop builds on the synergies with P4Circular G’s Fashion Partnership, which brings brands, producers, and recyclers together to improve the value of trash by recycling it into new textile products in Bangladesh. These partnerships have the ability to increase their impact, increase transparency, and track waste throughout the global fashion chain by cooperating and exchanging lessons learned about textile reuse and recycling around the world.

The world needs more cutting-edge business models that can quickly change established processes. These models can be advanced through partnerships across the supply chain, but only with backing from financiers and participants in the fashion industry. They can attain the scale and collaboration required to develop a truly sustainable fashion sector if they take Closing the Loop’s lead.

Photos Credit Shop Zetu & African Yuva

Content courtesy of World Resources Institute, Green Biz & NFH

 

Textile and Fashion Value Chains: Opportunities For The Private Sector in Kenya in 2021

The Textile and Fashion Value Chains Conversation looking at Opportunities in Kenya’s Private Sector happened on 25th March 2021 online. The African Development Bank, iMC Worldwide and Fashionomics Africa supported it.

 

Emmanuela Gregorio from African Development Bank opened the session and Jacqueline Shaw from Africa Fashion Guide moderated the event. The panellists included Oscar Alochi (Nairobi Fashion Hub), Jason Musyoka (Viktoria Ventures), Chebet Mutai (Waziwazi), Olivia Awuour (Pine Kazi) and Akinyi Odongo.

 

Emmanuela Gregorio: This event seeks to understand how businesses have positioned themselves in the fashion market. Consumer trends and country reports with detailed information that can be used by investors.  

Plus, looking at the environmental and social impact,e.g. It takes 2.7 litres of water to manufacture a cotton t-shirt. Lastly, Kenyan is a growing fashion sector in Africa, and the garment industry is a promising investment.

 

Oscar Alochi: The 1960s – 1980s was very successful at marketing clothes for local use & export. It was impacted negatively by the entrance of second-hand clothes. The Kenyan textile and fashion market has been negatively affected by high production costs, including raw materials and marketing issues.

 

What’s the best way to bring back the Kenyan fashion textile industry?

Chebet Mutai: The private sector needs to work hand in hand with the government through fashion policies. The local consumption and creation by Kenyans are creating a grassroots momentum. That’s pushing the Buy Kenya, Build Kenya ecosystem. Take advantage of AGOA and focus on preferential trade agreements to access international/American markets.

 

How can we improve locally made fashion?

Chebet Mutai: Have a good brand story because consumers are becoming highly conscious. A strong brand story needs to weave into the marketing strategy. Adopt new technology, push the made in Africa brand and think about how to penetrate new markets.

Jacqueline Shaw: Many eyes are on the African continent, so Africans need to grab this opportunity by telling their own stories. You don’t want Kenya to be known only as an artisan-driven fashion place, yet there’s also knitting, basket weaving, leather shoes, like a strong leather industry. 

Kenyan can be known for high-class quality and luxury items. So people can buy from us and not just admire us.

 

How did you start Waziwazi, a luxury leather business? Can Kenya be a leading luxury leather import on the content? 

Chebet Mutai: You need to have the design conversation, who do I want to sell this product to… its quality lifts the product from this jurisdiction to the next. A commitment to a design-driven process centred on what the customer wants.

 

What is being done to improve the textile industry in Kenya?

Chebet Mutai: A lot is being done to improve the fashion textile industry. Some people already use local cotton and breed silkworm. The fashion line is more on an international level but, there’s an opportunity in other things like bedsheets. KEBS care about standardization. 

 

Olivia Awuour: Green Nettle has sustainable textiles made from stinging nettle and they have won a fashion award. 

 

Akinyi Odongo:  We need to engage with farmers to grow organic content and upcycling mitumba pieces into fashion designs. It includes training students to look into sustainable fashion because that’s where the future is. We need to impart skills that will outlive us. 

   

Are there Copyright Issues in the Textile and Fashion Value Chains?

Chebet Mutai: A particular designer copied one of my designs. So as designers, you need to have legal ownership of fashion products, copyright and trademark. Don’t walk away from people that infringe on your rights. You can go to KIPI for more information.

  

What are the finances like in the Textile and Fashion Scene?

Jason Musyoka: The more we understand the value chain, the more we can see opportunities. Blended finance can fund the creative sector.

 

Chebet Mutai: People are wary of sending money from abroad. Paypal is good for abroad buyers. The best way to do it is to integrate it on the site. It’s not fair that it’s easy to purchase products abroad. Yet, it’s hard for others to buy products from Kenyan designers.

 

What skills do you need to export fashion products?

Chebet Mutai: Making sure that the product you have is what the market wants. It needs good value and, that’s why the brand story really matters. There needs to be more guidance because you take time trying to figure things out.

 

What are the opportunities in the retail sector, the local market? The domestic consumer market in Kenya? Do you have an idea? 

Oscar Alochi: It isn’t easy knowing estimating Kenyans using local luxury brands, but the numbers are still rising. 

 

Chebet Mutai: You can access duty-free items if you can prove that your textile can’t be sourced locally as a fashion designer. Designers need to walk into spaces and take part in conversations and keep pushing for opportunities. Understand terms of trade that apply to countries and utilise KEPROBA.

 

Hilda Ogada: KEBROBA is a product development initiative. It handholds SMEs to make sure that their products meet the international guidelines. So, any exporter can easily access information about any documentation that they need.

 

Anne Wamae: We’re waiting for guidance to implement fashion policies.

 

Ann McCreath: There’s huge potential in the Kenyan fashion industry around alternative fashion textiles. Quality textiles with high-quality designs and correct branding plus transparency and storytelling.  The price goes up and, everyone benefits in the value chain. 

 

New designers should start small and think through designs and experiment since it’s a difficult time. It’s always a rollercoaster. Always be ready to adapt, apply for all training opportunities and learn from as many people as possible.

 

Closing Remarks about the Textile and Fashion Value Chain in Kenya

Emmanuela Gregorio: Kenya has an ecosystem that the government is working with so things can thrive. It’s important to have high-quality garments, look and feel, understand the market, pricing and market intelligence. Fashionomics wants to put its masterclasses online, better online payment systems, the importance of producing fashion sustainably.