Thony Ibegbulem
2 min readDec 21, 2020

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THE BIGGEST QUESTION IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY IN AFRICA

In the global market, industries are experiencing the greatest technological revolution.

From CAD technologies, 3D technologies for better visualisation of ideas, to AI, VR, AR, MR, IOT, etc, for seamless workflows and better implementation of ideas .

Recently, the fashion industry started taking part in this technological revolution and the success recorded so far is one of the greatest in the industry's history.

There are a number of scenarios that triggered the introduction of new technologies to the fashion industry.

According to https://edgexpo.com/fashion-industry-waste-statistics/#:~:text=In%202018%20the%20fashion%20industry,Germany%20and%20the%20UK%20combined.&text=The%20US%20is%20the%20largest,US%20are%20imported%20from%20China, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world after the oil and gas industry.

Also, it was reported that in 2018, the fashion industry produced 2.1 billion tonnes CO2eq. This represents 4% of global carbon emissions – an emissions’ share larger than that of France, Germany and the UK combined.

Although, the awareness has been created and people are begining to get more information about garment constructions from designers to consumers, the better news is that fashion companies are beginning to invest in new technologies that can turn the fashion industry from a world polluter to a climate saving fighter.

Another good news is that, the introduction of new technologies is gradually democratising the fashion industry. Just as top fashion companies from world fashion capital cities are either researching, developing or adopting new technologies, to improve the production process of clothing and create a consumer friendly atmosphere, there is still a huge gap to be fill. This gives emerging fashion companies who are creative enough the chance to take part in the journey of this technological revolution.

It has also encouraged collaboration. Start ups from other industries (Tech and commerce especially) now collaborate with Fashion companies to research and develop new systems that will place their start up in the fore front.

The industry has begun to see the rise of new careers in the industry including design technologists, 3d modellers, visual artists, etc.

However, while the industry is optimistic on the future of fashion and technology, there are huge concerns on the fate of fashion brands in emerging economies.

This category includes most countries in Africa.

Although, there may be some fashion companies in Africa who are taking part in this technological revolution, the industry itself is yet to experience a significant change, especially in the production process of clothing.

The current process of Apparel production amongst fashion brands in Nigeria is not only time consuming, but unsustainable and costly.

At the end, the ROI from sold out garments is extremely low.

Also, the information shared in the production process of Apparel is limited to only the designer, in some cases the manufacturer and the retailer.

This time around the world is evolving. People are looking forward to get more information about what they are buying. The information shared in a clothing either through it's tag or label is limited to the measurement of potential consumers.

This leaves us with the big question,

Is the Fashion Industry in Africa ready enough for the next technological revolution?

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Thony Ibegbulem

Fashion Tech Enthusiast | Digital Fashion | Design and Production