The African fashion hub is bursting with local artisans and designers, all of whom specialize in reinventing our own beautiful textile with a modern twist. Most of our local designers create ethically and sustainably and need our support to thrive!
For this #MadeinAfrica Challenge, I spoke to Vicentia Dzidzor, the name and talent behind the brand Petals by Dzidzor. She tells us about the importance of supporting local small businesses and why #thrifting in the African context is not necessarily contributing to a sustainable lifestyle as it actually robs the local fashion industry across Africa.
Q: Hello Vicentia, please tell us a bit about yourself!
Vicentia Dzidzor: I am a fashion designer from Ghana. I make clothes for women for all occasions: from white wedding gowns to our indigenous kente made from a variety of colors and hand-beaded to enhance the final look. I also make Ready-To-Wear casual and office wear.
Q: This is a no-brainer but please share with us the importance of supporting local designers like yourself.
Vicentia Dzidzor: It is important to support local designers like myself because we have the same potential that big brands have. However, being financially restrained, which is the reality of small businesses like mine, has a negative impact on our ability to employ capable hands to help us grow and expand. The fashion industry is so huge and as small businesses, we can not do everything on our own.
Q: In the Western world, thrifting is encouraged as a way (or one of the ways) to halt the expansion of fast fashion. However, the story is different in African countries. Thrifting does actually hurt our African creative economy.
Vicentia Dzidzor: Yes – it does. Many people choose thrifting because they believe it is cheaper and easier to come by. However, the issue is that thrifting in the African context does not establish or protect our own African clothing industries. As local designers, we have the power to create fashion in a way that does not harm our environment nor violates human rights.
In the short term, thrifting may allow people with weak purchasing power to get low-priced clothes, but in the long term, if people can not afford to invest in local production, it will definitely impact all of us. One of those impacts being the ability to generate jobs through our creative economy.
Thank you Vincentia Dzidzor for your time! Support and follow Petals By Dzidzor on Instagram. For inquiries, call or Whatsapp (+233) 243382405