Ethical Fashion and African prints

cotton flower


cotton farm

Brazillian cottan farm

cotton farm

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cotton farm

What does it mean to be an Ethical shopper and how does this effect fashion products produced out of Africa?.

The first thing to consider when taking on ethical shopping is to process the whole cycle of how the garment you are purchasing came about. As African clothing is prodimintly made with cotton, we have to begin with the farming of the cotton.

Cotton plants are  grown and then turned into threads which ultimatly become the fabrics used and for ethical fashion to work effectivily the process must begin with the production of these plant and science involved in how we colour the cotton.

The biggest effect fashion has on the enviroment is the pollution it produces through the waste and contamination of water when proceesing the fabric and also there is a major issue with how cotton farmers are paid in particular with farmers in india.

African fabric rely heavily on producing vibrant eye catching colours and for ethical fashion to work the cotton grown will need to be grown in colours which means the way the fashion industry works at present will need to adapt to this new structure by eliminating the dying process. this will mean fashion trends lead by seasonal colours will have to adapt and follow a more static form and also by eliminating the printed fabric process. Pattern will need to be woven instead printed.

To the consumer this will effect the price we pay and in essence hopefully cause a decline in fast and cheap fashion and hopefully leading us to shop less and purchase longer wearing timeless pieces not heavily influenced by seasonal colour trends.

Many small business such as those of us currently working within the African print clothing business are far way away from producing our own fabrics however Sosome is working hard at being a concious brand by choosing to only purchase fabrics from African retailers in Africa. The fabrics are also different because we combine original sample swatches that would otherwise have been burnt contributing to further harmfull damage to the enviroment. 

Working with swatched fabric posses a lot of challenges as it means there is a lot more time involoved in constructing the fabric before each garment and also it takes additional time to make sure coolurs and design silhouttes all work in harmony  for each clothing.

The Ethics around fashion ultimatly belongs to the consumer for change to be implimented and this can be done through making educated choices in purchasing in habbits. This will not be easy however by changing our purchasing habbits and challenging bigger retailers we can influence change from the top.


African Fabrics

Sosome African print inspired collection

yellow African print jacket and hood dress

Mixed African print Jacket and hood tunic dress by Sosome

Yellow African dress

Dress by Sosome


Location: London, UK
Team: Sosome

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