5 Good Reasons we support Independent Fashion Designers

At the African Fashion Awards, we want to champion the Independent Fashion Designers out there in African Fashion. The amount of hard work, dedication and sheer drive to get started and noticed should not go without the recognition these designers deserve.

Transparency of who you are buying from

When you buy a mass-produced item, you have little knowledge or connection to the person on the other end making it. In fact, the anonymity hides a complex web of international factories and supply chains. Independent brands on the other hand often rely on smaller, family owned cooperatives or factories to produce their collections. Without the required volumes and financial resources to make upfront down payments, they simply cannot work with anyone else.

Such partners often set their own labor and cost standards, ensuring fair-trade practices while maintaining quality craftsmanship. It also means as a consumer that you are able to enquire directly with the brand about who made the collection and where. Such affinity should help drive more responsible practices and it is no surprise that brands are not shy about leveraging it as a key selling point of their brand.

Independent designers stand for something

Independent designers are never afraid to have an authentic and powerful narrative that is core to their brand and existence. Independent brands can often articulate clearly the reasons and motivations why they do what they do since the brand is a personal reflection of the designers closely held beliefs and values. Without the benefit of a large brand, standing for something is also an important and much needed point of differentiation. Whether it is expressing a strikingly original creative vision, or supporting sustainability or ethnical causes for example, it are independent brands that stand for something to stand out.