We are launching Australasia's premier online African Fashion aggregate platform today, Wednesday 31 May 2017 at 7pm NZST.
Yep you heard right! We are dropping the second platform of our Social Enterprise, ADJOAA, three days after the one-year anniversary of our first and much known platform, Africa Fashion Festival, following a sensational inaugural show in 2016. I will tell you more about this platform in our next issue.
Back to the star of this newsletter. Our second platform A-Collective, an online retail channel bringing the vision of our Social Enterprise ADJOAA, a step closer to creating the First Hub for African fashion in the Asia-Pacific region.
A-Collective will provide fashion lovers and lovers of all things African in the Australasian region, a curated selection of ethical and sustainable luxury fashion and accessories by designers from the African continent. That's right! You heard it! We are bringing African fashion and contemporary accessories to your door step, so you don't have to travel thousands of miles to the Continent to find these ethical and luxurious treasures. So grab your debit cards and credit cards and engage in some guilt-free shopping when we go live at 7pm today.
Why guilt-free? You ask? Because we are a Fashion for Development Social Enterprise. 10% of proceeds from every item sold will go towards our Social Impact Fund. A Fund we have established to create social good - to give back to communities in parts of Africa in partnership with our designers to support mentoring, education and internship. It’s early days, but we are committed to building this fund to invest in development in selected marginalised communities.
This is what you need to know. All the designers we work with are committed to creating jobs in their home countries in the Continent, to support social and economic development. As a young African, I believe Africans need to own their development. What does this means? It means taking active steps to support ventures that equip our people with skills, create jobs to help address the high rates of unemployment, in particular amongst young people and women. Investment in infrastructures in the Continent that help advance economic and social development. It is one of the reasons why I embarked on this journey to support designers and artisans working in Africa's second biggest industry, the creative sector, to help stimulate economic development.
How? By providing platforms such as Africa Fashion Festival and A-Collective to support designers and artists from the African continent to access new markets, to generate more revenue, to increase their production, and by extension employ more people.
What's our value proposition? In a nutshell, we have chosen to partner with designers that through their work are helping to create jobs in their home countries in Africa, and are committed to protecting our traditional manufacturing techniques such as weaving, textile making etc., and elevating these techniques to a luxury level. What else, we work with designers that are helping to preserve and sustain artisanal jobs in the age of massive industrialisation.
I think that's enough from me and the amazing team that have made this dream a reality. It's sounds cliché but as a bootstrapping nascent social entrepreneur, it has taken a community of people to bring this vision to life. So before I sign-off, I just wanted to shout out to my village of supporters and friends.
Special shout to Michele Marius who has been relentless in her belief in me, a cheerleader, a mentor and advisor since the inception of this idea of creating a Social Enterprise. You are a real role model to me and I hope I can give and be a source of support to many budding entrepreneurs, and in particular, female entrepreneurs, on my journey. Another shout to Pepper for her patience and talent for designing a wicked website for A-Collective and ADJOAA. Sally Young and Jack Chapman for beautifully capturing each of the collections, and my dear friend, Yvette Edwards, and my Social Media Manager, Sarah Wong for assisting and giving their expertise at the shoots. Annelies Kuypers, Chido Dimairo (my surrogate sister) and Sarah for assisting with uploading the products.
Enough from me. Now that you know A-Collective is a labour of love and that every purchase you make through any of our platforms is Fashion for Good, i.e. making a real impact in the lives of real persons and communities of artisans and not some greedy corporate purse. You have every excuse to shop up a storm!
Next issue...... talk-party about Africa Fashion Festival 2.O.... start saving your pennies.
Thank you for supporting this journey.