Six Rwandan designers have returned to Rwanda from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where they showcased their work at Origin Africa, the continent’s largest international trade show and conference for textile, leather, home and beauty products.
This year’s theme was about accelerating the value chain in Africa. Participants were told how the world markets are not only looking at the continent as an excellent sourcing destination but also how they have their eyes set on Africa for fashion inspiration.
This year’s global colour trends are the best example for this with bright colours, classic animal prints, lush green tropical landscapes, exotic flowers and fruits and the continuous influence of African prints taking center stage.
For long, Rwanda has been dependent on used clothes imported from abroad. Times are now changing.
Designers are becoming aware of the importance of the locally designed, sourced, and manufactured clothes, and are working hard towards achieving this. And when local sourcing is not an option, regional sourcing is.
Teta Isibo from Inzuki Designs, who was one of the exhibitors told The New Times that this is Africa’s time to shine.
“I am proud to be here as a representative of Rwanda showing what can come out of our continent, and it’s now actually a growing trend among international brands to source from Africa,” she says.
Proud that Rwandans are now able to compete with other countries on the international market, Isibo feels that she is getting closer to her goal of seeing Inzuki products across Africa, and even international borders. The event certainly met her expectations; it allowed her to meet interesting players in the field, suppliers of raw materials such as leather, and different market players.