Pitti Uomo, AKJP, Ikiré Jones, Lukhanyo Mdinigi x Nicholas Coutts, U.Mi-1, Africa, Autumn/Winter 2016, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Simone Cipriani, Ethical Fashion Initiative, International Trade Centre, fashion philanthropy, Italy


“Africa is one of today’s creative poles and this show proves that African designers speak about art, life, and innovation,” Cipriani said in a statement before the show, which featured collections from Ikiré Jones, Lukhanyo Mdingi x Nicholas Coutts, AKJP, and U.Mi-1. “At the same time, we are in an age in which many Africans come to Europe as migrants. We believe in a program that enables them to work in the value chain of fashion.”

The Ethical Fashion Initiative, a United Nations and World Trade Organization offshoot that prides itself in its motto, “Not charity, just work,” will be working with Lai-momo to set up the center.

Since 2014, Lai-momo, which specializes in migration and cross-cultural issues, has helped run a reception center that hosts nearly 300 asylum seekers in the Bologna province.

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“Lai-momo [has] always paid serious attention to the images and concepts of contemporary Africa,” said Andrea Marchesini Reggiani, president of Lai-momo. “The partnership with the Ethical Fashion Initiative represents a great occasion to build valuable and concrete paths together with artisans and the creative talent of this continent, through specific and innovative actions for asylum seekers and the territories that host them.”

Besides supporting Africa’s upcoming generation of designers, the Ethical Fashion Initiative maintains ongoing partnerships with Western brands such as Karen Walker, Stella Jean, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood to produce responsible fashion goods while improving the lives of marginalized artisans—most of them women—in East and West Africa, Haiti, and the West Bank.

+ Ethical Fashion Initiative