Editorial – Africa's Sustainable Fashion Designers Take On Climate Change
As the fashion world becomes more conscious of its impact on the environment, there is a greater push for the industry to adopt sustainable practices. Fast fashion production accounts for 10% of all Carbon gas emissions and 20% of wastewater. Additionally, microplastics and toxic dyes from textiles are major ocean polluters. The core tenets of the slow fashion movement provide the antidote. They call for companies to mitigate their pollution and promote buying fewer clothes less frequently.
The slow fashion movement prioritizes quality and longevity in garment design, production, and consumption. While it is more expensive for both companies and customers, its long-term benefits are more than worth it. Yet, there is concern that sustainable fashion might be inaccessible to many consumers.
In Africa, a continent that is still developing its fashion industry, there is a misconception that sustainable fashion should be a low priority. Unfortunately, the impending consequences of climate change will impact Africa just as much, if not more, than it impacts other areas.
A leader in the slow fashion movement is Nigerian designer Paolo Sisiano of sustainable womenswear brand Sisiano. He's known for creating bold, fashion-conscious pieces that offer plenty of movement, which all stem from his former life as a choreographer. Prior to the pandemic, The Folklore nabbed South African-based photographer Imraan Christian to bring Sisiano's Spring/Summer 2020 collection to life. Set along the shores of Cape Town, you'll see just how effortlessly stunning his clothes are.
Then again, given all the time the world is spending at home, Sisiano's environmentally-friendly sartorial statements are also made for a chic night in. It's clear that COVID-19 has irrevocably altered the fashion industry and changed the way we shop. Perhaps it's the wakeup call the world has needed for a long time and we need to continue to follow the lead of innovators like Sisiano.
View The Folklore's Spring/Summer 2020 editorial photographed in Cape Town by Imraan Christian below and shop styles from Sisiano here.
Creative Producer: Raven Irabor – @ravencherisse
Photographer: Imraan Christian – @imraanchristian
Stylist: Zizi Ntobongwana – @zizi_ntobongwana
MUA: Justine Alexander – @justine_nomz
Models: Patricia Laloyo, Samuel Edem, Faith Johnson
Words: Natalie Jarrett