Creative industries can be a tool for increased sustainability and local growth. Local creatives In Kenya however face several challenges in areas such as market access, sourcing, shariong skills and international reach.
Kibera Fashion Week is not your typical fashion week but comprises a year-long programme to fundamentally change the power dynamics and narratives in the fashion industry, labelling itself a fashion week with the ambition to reinvent the format.
Showcasing the talent of creatives from Kibera and sharing their insights with audiences in Kenya and the EU, the project wants to build a new ethical and sustainable fashion industry. Rooting this project in Kibera confronts the neo-colonial realities of the fashion industry by learning from a community that is faced with the abundance of textile waste exported by European countries and creating a new dialogue around the consequences of unsustainable consumption. Through this dialogue a movement can start of change, impacting both consumers and designers in Kenya and abroad by respecting the skills and insights of local communities.
While Kibera is often portrayed as a place of hopelessness in need of help and so called “development aid”, it is in fact a diverse metropolis, booming with creativity and constantly evolving and innovating. The project firmly believe that the world can learn a lot from the people of Kibera and they possess the skills to become pioneers in a sustainable and ethical creative industry. Kibera Fashion Week will become a platform for the community to redefine fashion, share new methods for sustainability and bring together stakeholders from around the world to challenge unethical and exploitative consumption.