10/11/2010
Made In Africa – Is such a label achievable and marketable?
Can the African countries reach a consensus to adopt such a label and negotiate with its main trading partners to allow clothing shipments to have “Made in Africa” label? What do the experts say:

Robert Alexandriysky: "My expectations are that European and American consumers will have positive attitude toward such a label and that it will increase the marketability of “Made in Africa” clothing and accessories. "Made in Africa" can work as a development tool. People (consumers) simpatize Africa and will buy products to support the continent."

Jacqueline Shaw, designer at Puma, London (UK) and member of Ethical Fashion Forum: "This is an interesting topic. Personally I think it should stick to country names i.e made in Kenya, made in Ghana etc etc as Africa is so diverse in what is done from North to East, South to West. "

Renato Palmi, consultant at ReDress Consultancy, Durban (South Africa) has another opinion: "Interesting, and yes it does help but there needs to be a system of verification. I know for example a designer in SA who has products made in Asia imports half finished goods and then sticks a MADE in SA label and flag etc and exports to EU, Australia and US. Not very ethical".

It will be difficult to change the legislation of the main trading partners. US clothing label regulations require clothing products to have the country of origin on a sew-in label, the EU is likely to accept the same regulation in 2011. But there are no restrictions if a top level non-governmental organization adopt such a label and use it under a system of verification, as suggested by Renato Palmi, and besides the country of origin. However the fragmented African clothing and textile industry needs to unite its efforts and discuss all marketing tools that can make consumers pull their products from the market and this idea can be one of them.

from TO AFRICA WITH FASHION
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