The African textile industry dates back millennia. So, it’s no wonder that several African textile and clothing companies featuring at Première Vision this year have been manufacturing quality crafted wares for generations.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is showcasing the talents of ten textile and clothing companies from Madagascar and Tunisia at this year’s Première Vision digital show.
With the collaborative support of the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme in Madagascar and the Global Textiles and Clothing (GTEX/MENATEX) Programme in Tunisia, the ten companies are presenting new designs and production skills to a global audience.
The disruption of global supply chains and lower consumer demand due to Covid-19 heavily impacted the textile and clothing industry which saw profits plummet 93 percent in 2020 according to McKinsey and Company / Business of Fashion research. Consumers are now thinking more about where their clothing was made and by whom.
Sustainability, transparency and traceability in the textile and clothing sector are influencing the choices of many consumers.
For the ten companies sponsored by UKTP and GTEX/MENATEX, these challenges are being met by a focus on reducing waste in production, limiting the impact of harmful chemicals, and fostering a stronger culture of worker engagement.
Many of these companies have adopted new production methods to improve environmental and energy outcomes as a way to strengthen their international competitiveness.
For example, companies manufacturing jeans and other heavy fabrics acknowledge the advantages of circular production—reducing and reusing resources as production inputs and turning waste products into value
With a mandate to bring trade impact for good, and with funding from the United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland, ITC is supporting these small and medium-sized textile and clothing companies to export to international markets, thereby raising incomes in the sector, especially for women and young people.
In both Madagascar and Tunisia, textile and clothing manufacturing is one of the largest sectors of the economy, accounting for around 3-5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in each country.
And a job in the textile and clothing sector is often the first formal employment opportunity for young women.
Buying from companies committed to implementing environmental and social safeguards will have a positive and sustainable impact on the planet.
And with top names in fashion already sourcing from Africa, Tunisian and Malagasy companies are solidifying their reputation as reliable and quality suppliers.