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ITC initiative focuses on 'Responsible Fashion for Africa'
Jun '13
courtesy: ITC
courtesy: ITC
Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), a programme of the International Trade Center (ITC), highlighted the role of fashion as a catalyst for economic growth in Africa at the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held from June 1-3, 2013 in Tokyo.

Simone Cipriani, chief advisor of Ethical Fashion, said the fashion industry can take up the responsibility to transform local resources and talent to artistic fashion items, according to the Japan Times.

The role of fashion can be turned into an actual business wherein the African artisans will be hired on a respectable pay and treated with dignity, Mr. Cipriani said. 

He added that there is a need for many more initiatives like EFI to improve the working conditions in developing countries of Africa.

ITC presented a side event ‘Responsible Fashion for Africa’ at the conference to bring together representatives of the fashion industry to discuss ways in which the public and private sectors can assist African fashion businesses to become better integrated into global markets.

Also present at the event was Hirofumi Kurino, senior advisor of luxury fashion retailer United Arrows. The Tokyo-based retailer became the first Japanese retailer to join EFI and display fashion products made by the female artisans of the ITC initiative in its stores.

Ethical Fashion Initiative connects the fashion business with artisans based in Africa and Haiti. The initiative works with global fashion designers, like Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, to develop products that are feasible, using the skills and materials locally available in Africa. Its hubs are located in Nairobi, Accra and Port-au-Prince with 90 percent women workers.

EFI works towards creation of fashion-based micro-enterprises among the marginalized people of Africa, making it possible for them to connect with the fashion world. The organization ensures workflow to those in urban slums and disadvantaged rural areas of Africa that are off the grid.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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