Home NEWSEnvironment Afro-SFI Holds 2nd Edition Of Fashion Show Themed On Reconnecting Fashion To Nature

Afro-SFI Holds 2nd Edition Of Fashion Show Themed On Reconnecting Fashion To Nature

by Atlantic Chronicles
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By Njodzeka Danhatu

The Second Edition of the Afro-Sustainable Fashion Initiative Fashion show recently took place at Curelf, former Franco Alliance from February 3 – 4, 2024 under the theme “Reconnecting Fashion with Nature”.

The two-day event began with a powerful panel discussion on February 3, which saw the take of 4 panellists; Catherine Natang, a fashion designer and the Founder of Afro-SFI, Dr. Monju Patrick, the Executive Director, Centre for Research, Education, Empowerment & Development in Africa (CREED), Asaba Lynda, Service of Sensitisation , Regional Delegation of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development for the Southwest, Andrew Nsoseka, a Freelance Journalist and Editor of The Post Newspaper, with Nkwati Elsa-Rita Shiri, a teacher and Chief Operating Officer at Health Research Foundation Buea as moderator.

They answered questions on; how close was fashion to nature historically? how is fashion changing in our times and deviating towards more environmentally harmful components?- what measures can be taken to bring back fashion closer to nature? and how sustainable measures can be implemented in an economically sustainable manner.  These questions enabled the panellists to probe deeper into the aspect of sustainable fashion and the urgent need for designers, customers and stakeholders to work together to counter waste-fabric pollution caused by the fashion industry given that the industry is the second most-polluting in the world.

The panellists argued that if people associate more value to their clothing and pay attention to quality and durability then, “fast fashion”(a strong contributor to waste plastic fabric pollution) will be reduced, thereby promoting sustainability. The “Atogho” (the Northwest Region’s traditional attire) was highlighted as a brilliant example because of the value placed on it and because of the number of people who have used it and handed it down from generation to generation.

The panellists said the Northwest and West regional regalia is a perfect example of a sustainable outfit and that if such value is associated with other outfits commanded by customers and designed by fashion designers, it will greatly reduce fashion waste and promote sustainability.

The need to encourage the masses to embrace slow fashion to greatly help the environment was emphasised. The audience also asked questions and contributed to the discussions.

At the end of the discussion, the Founder/President of Afro-SFI encouraged the audience to continue in the struggle for a safer environment. “It might be slow and seem impossible, but there will come a day when we or our children will reap the fruits of our labour; Go Fashionable, Go Eco-friendly”, she said.

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Panelists and other stakeholders after talk on Reconnecting Fashion with Nature

Fashion Show

February 4 was the day of the Fashion Show proper. It showcased sustainable designs from five designers who competed for awards and cash prizes in the presence of a full capacity audience. The contestants included; House of Trose, Blessing’s Fashion Martha Fashion and J&J Fashion. The grand prize was a trophy and a sponsored trip to Accra Fashion Week in Ghana come December 2024, the Second price was a trophy and a cash prize of FCFA200,000 and the third price was a trophy and a cash prize of FCFA100,000.

The evaluation contestant’s sustainable designs followed strict guidelines to ensure transparency and an accurate appraisal of the work put in each and every outfit. The judges included fashion designers like Fabric Doctor, Nuvi Creatives and a guest of honour from the Delegation of Public Health, Beckley Sone. After an intense evaluation, “House of Trose” won the Grande Price; a sponsored trip to Ghana for the Accra Fashion Week 2024. The First runner up was J&J Fashion and the Second runner up was Blessing Fashion. Other designers who took part in the exhibition went home with a trophy to acknowledge their efforts.

To crown this year’s show, Catherine Natang, presented a rare collection called “The Battle Cry”. It is a collection that represents the designers’ cry for peace in Cameroon, equality, and sustainability. These designs were created from blinds she purchased three years ago to decorate her house but could not use them because they did not have the desired length. The dark shades of the fabric represent the designer’s vision and symbolise the battles the world faces for a cleaner and more sustainable future. This process of redesigning from an already existing piece in sustainable fashion is called upcycling which is a great way of reducing fabric pollution in the environment. She ended by encouraging the audience to be a part of the solution as this will not only benefit them but the generations to come.

 

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