March 17, 2020 3 min read 1 Comment

Fashion houses and designers need to do more to make their work and wares more sustainable. Fast fashion has a huge impact on resources and we need to switch the focus from quickly produced, mass-made items to represent a season to high-quality, ethically-sourced items that will last in style and in substance.

To give you an idea of the problem, the fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater, says the United Nations. Our worldwide fashion industry is responsible for using more energy than both aviation and shipping combined. Now is the time for companies like ours to take a stand.

Sustainable African fashion

Sika'a African design being printed at The Silk BureauSika'a African design being printed at The Silk Bureau

African fashion brands are disputing the notion that 'Made in Africa' means low wages and exploitation. They reflect local artisan techniques, fabrics and patterns, and are thoughtful in their approach to dyes, colours and designs.

Sika’a has a vision to take their label and ethos onto a global worldwide platform. Sika’a is bound to win favour with women internationally with regards to sustainable and ethically sourced materials. We produce beautiful, fearless prints wrapped in hand-stitched craftsmanship that you can be proud to wear, both with your head and with your heart.

Sika'a African design being printed at The Silk Bureau

Unlike other African fashion brands, all our fabrics are sustainably sourced and our garments are ethically manufactured. This is reflected in our garments being relatively more expensive than other brands in the field, but with good reason. African designers have a huge opportunity to make a stamp on the world with brilliant work built on a thoughtful, global mindset. We want to help set the standard.

Our ethics are unshakeable, we pride ourselves on developing high-end designer garments that celebrate and challenge ethical and sustainable fashion. African fashion is more than looking good; it’s feeling inspired. It’s also about being inspiring, we want to set an example of how African fashion can be greener, brighter, better quality and more thoughtful.

African Fashion With Ethical Materials

Sika'a African design being printed at The Silk Bureau

We intend to showcase what Africa has to offer to the fashion world. We are fiercely proud of the culture, heritage and style that Africa has to offer. As a result, we provide ethical fashion by paying fairly and honestly. However, that doesn’t mean we ever have to compromise on quality. The bold patterns and rich, vibrant colours in our work reflect the African culture we come from while embracing the sustainable culture we’re proud to promote.

There are a huge number of factors to consider in making a clothing business sustainable. It’s about the products, dyes and transportation you use. It’s about encouraging customers to make an investment in an item that they’ll wear for years to come, rather than purchasing fast-fashion that is low in quality.

African Designers

Sika'a Savannah Yellow African Print Midi Skirt

Denim is a clear example of where we can do better. A single pair of jeans requires a kilogram of cotton and that small amount of material can require 7,500–10,000 litres of water. That’s about 10 years’ worth of drinking water for one person. These materials are also often produced in parts of the world that may be less thoughtful about where their resources come from, or how the people that make them are treated. We all need to be more thoughtful about where our spending on fashion items goes. One pair of jeans alone can make a huge impact.

Polyester is another good example. Millions upon millions of barrels of oil are used every year to make the polyester fibres in our clothes, as the BBC explains. A shirt made from polyester has double the carbon footprint compared to one made from cotton. We’re proud to use organic cotton in all of our work. It’s high-quality, it’s luxurious and it makes for beautiful clothing with exquisite design and cut.

Organic Materials

Sustainability can never be an afterthought, it has to be built into the business from the ground up. We know in our hearts that sustainable fashion is important, we showcase in our design how beautiful it can be. Explore our latest collections here.

1 Response

Marie Endale Lottin
Marie Endale Lottin

September 08, 2020

I believe very strongly the message you are sending in your mission statement above. I am a fashion design dressmaker who wants to help to send that positive message about using sustainable materials that do not compromise on the vibrancy and beauty of African fabrics. Keep going with your vision

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UK 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
EUROPEAN 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 48 50 52
US 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
AUSTALIA 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22

International Guide

BUST 76 30 78 1/2 31 81 32 86 34 91 36 96 38 101 40 108 1/2 43 116 45 1/2 122 48
WAIST 58 22 3/4 60 1/2 23 3/4 63 24 1/2 68 26 3/4 73 28 3/4 78 30 3/4 83 32 3/4 90 1/2 35 3/4 98 38 1/2 104 41
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