The growth of the African fashion and textile industry

The African fashion industry has been on the rise in the last decade and has received global attention. There are numerous influences on the industry pertaining to its growth, which has propelled the African fashion industry, in particular the Nigerian fashion industry, to have a wider audience and a platform that reaches an international echelon.

Fashion platforms such as ‘Lagos Fashion Week’ stand as a huge stage for which many African brands have the opportunity of displaying their work at these highly awaited runway shows. This has been the case for Eki as due to these events, we have been privileged to partner with retail stores such as Selfridges and Bluebird. Moreover, we had the pleasure of participating in an exhibition at St James Palace, gaining interest from Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.

Eki models at lagos fashion week

Photo Credits : Kola Oshalusi

Taking a glance back into the history of the continent, the Nigerian textile business was one of the most vibrant industries in the 1960s. However, since the oil boom and the introduction of the Chinese takeover of the industry, we have seen a decline in the home-grown / African owned textile industry.

Although Africa has its own traditional woven textiles such as Adire, Aso-Eke, Kente and Kanga to name a few, there is much work to be done yet, as those that hold a textile monopoly in Africa, are non-African owned brands.

Amongst fashion conscious Africans and designers, like ourselves looking for fabric, there is a sense of awareness that there is a need for more integration of African fabric in our collections. This is where Eki has been consistent since launching into the fashion scene in 2009 with our own African silk.

Photo Credits : TruedisMedia

At Eki, we endeavour to rebuild and revive an element of African culture and integrity that has slowly diminished throughout the course of African fashion. With silk being a luxurious, natural fabric that regulates body temperature, it is the perfect material for any climate. Not only this, but being a biodegradable fabric, it is helping to combat the widespread issue of the highly polluted fashion industry.

Eki’s entire ethos is based on retelling personal African stories on silk inspired by nature, culture and travel and to maintain our traditional heritage. Our ultimate aim is to take responsibility in making sure that the legacy of African print lives on through our designs and throughout history.

Eki models on the street of london , african silk,

Photo Credits : Lydia King