In October, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that torrential rainfall, river floods, and flash floods had affected 192,594 people across 22 states in Nigeria, leading to 826 injuries, 155 fatalities, and displacing 24,134 people in just two months.
“This hits close to home, and puts in perspective everything being said about climate change,” reacted Ose Okpamen, creative director and founder of Hollerose, a Nigerian fashion brand based in Lagos. “It hurts more that my industry is probably responsible.” The environmental impact of the textiles and fashion industry across the world—not just in Nigeria—is well documented. Okpamen says that is exactly why sustainability has been a key part of her brand since she launched in 2012.
“To curb waste, we have practiced made-to-order or bespoke for couture pieces and this has been very popular locally. We make samples, market them and create for clients based on demand,” she enthuses. Environmentalists now see made-to-order as the future of sustainable fashion.
As a brand committed to sustainability, Okpamen’s Hollerose has also pursued environment-friendly opportunities, recycling pieces of leftover fabrics to make fashionable accessories.
“We also have an alterations arm that helps to mend damaged garments or convert them into more stylish pieces for our clients,” Okpamen adds, noting that this is better than throwing away the garment altogether—a usual occurrence since Africa became a dumping ground for second-hand clothing from the West and cheap imports from Asia flooded the African markets.
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