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Creative DNA Kenya

Creative DNA Kenya We are NBO, jewellery design Kenya, photography by Kreks Carter

We are NBO, jewellery design Kenya, photography by Kreks Carter

23 June 2020

At a pivotal time for the fashion industry, this programme focuses on sharing and supporting alternative, responsible and innovative approaches to the global fashion system.

It centres around a contemporary exploration of Kenya’s fashion value chain, through research, creative enterprise and storytelling.

In collaboration with partners from the Kenyan and UK creative industries, the programme comprises of local industry mapping, alternative sustainable materials research, and creative enterprise support and incubation.

 

EXPLORING THE KENYAN FASHION ECOSYSTEM 

To assess the needs of the Kenyan fashion sector, the project will deliver three research pieces: a Needs Analysis report produced by East African Collective RW and independent UK research consultant Jan Miller; a case study on Uhuru Markets, one of Kenya’s oldest markets, developed in partnership with HEVA fund; and an analysis of the potential use for alternative fibres and raw materials, led by the Kenyan chapter of Fashion Revolutionaries.

These reports will inform the British Council’s future Fashion programming. Executive summaries and recommendations will be shared with stakeholders in Kenya to support the local fashion sector’s policy and advocacy needs.

POLICY AND ADVOCACY FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURES 

The Fashion Revolution team in Kenya is identifying policy gaps in the fashion value chain that would benefit from sustainable practices. With our support, ITC SheTrades hosted a structured dialogue to bring together stakeholders and generate conversation around meaningful improvements and policy recommendations. 

Building on this insight, the Fashion Revolution team in Kenya are researching the development of alternative fabrics that can stimulate local production and embed sustainable production practices within Kenya’s growing economy. The report will examine existing industries, explore the policy landscape on the fashion value chain, and share outcomes of their field research into alternative fibres and raw materials that are able to be grown in Kenya.

CREATIVE ENTERPRISE AND INCUBATION 

Through a series of creative enterprise workshops and a 12-month fashion incubator, 11 Kenyan designer organisations will be invited to reflect on their brands and business. 

Led by Nesta over ten days, 60 fashion businesses covering a variety of disciplines will take part in interactive exercises and peer-led activities. The fashion incubator, run by Metta Nairobi  and Fashion Scout UK, will support 11 designers working across footwear, clothing, textiles and jewellery to develop their brands by tackling growth-stage challenges. The designers will be introduced to a global network of fashion experts and take part in a virtual showcase led by a Kenyan creative team, followed by a week-long residency in the UK during London Fashion Week 2021.

In response to COVID-19 the fashion incubator will be, in part, digitalised. 

GLOBAL DIALOGUES 

Developed in response to COVID-19, Fashion Fridays is a series of online conversations with stakeholders from the fashion sector in Kenya, Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK. Each discussion explores perspectives on global issues including digital fashion, the second-hand clothing market, sustainable textiles and resilient business models. 'Fashion Fridays' as a term is linked to a recent government directive inviting all civil servants to wear “Made in Kenya” designs to work every Friday.

Explore how fashion can respond to local and global socio-environmental challenges over on the  East Africa Arts website.