The global textile industry has become one of the most socially and environmentally harmful industries in the world. Challenging these impacts begins with sharing ideas and inspiration for sustainable material worlds.Taking place on 17 August at the V&A Waterfront, in Cape Town, Africa Textile Talks 2023, hosted by Twyg and Imiloa Collective, promises a full day of connecting and learning about sustainability and circularity in textile, fashion, and design systems from across the continent.
The first-of-its-kind annual event aims to celebrate and support a growing African textile ecosystem that acts with care for people and the planet. For its third edition, the focus of Africa Textile Talks 2023 is to inspire new practices which are rooted in the past, informed by the present, and look to the future.
Guided by MC Thobile Chittenden, CEO of Makers Valley and network co-lead of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance the day will be filled with insightful talks, presentations, exhibits, and demonstrations that will bring together sustainable growers, makers, designers, creatives, industry experts, retailers, and innovators.
The expansive programme of talks will address some of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the future of sustainable textile ecosystems in Africa. This includes addressing the reality of waste colonialism with a keynote address from pioneering Ghanaian organisation – The Or Foundation – about the need for a new justice-led and circular textile economy, based on their research and work supporting circular textile solutions in one of the biggest secondhand markets in the world, the Kantamanto Market in Accra.
The expansive programme of talks will address some of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the future of sustainable textile ecosystems in Africa
Looking to the future, the talks also demand that we delve into the past to engage with the overlaps between textile worlds, memory, and history. This will be addressed in a talk by Kenyan creative director and cultural producer, Sunny Dolat, who is the co-founder of The Nest Collective, a multidisciplinary collective living and working in Nairobi, Kenya. His talk will walk us through how we can connect the dots between the stories that lie below the surface of the fabric of our lives, and how they can shape the future.
Also journeying down from Kenya, after being recognised as one of 10 winners of the H&M Foundation’s 2023 Global Change Award, is Rethread Africa – a start-up that is developing innovative ways to turn waste from farms into future-fit fabrics.
From Nigeria, Muktar Dodo will be presenting the Global Organic Textile Standard. Design guru, Bielle Bellingham will engage with textile artists and designers Frances van Hasselt, Tinyiko Makwakwa and Lezanne Viviers about their innovative use of natural dyes and natural fibres. Looking at the future of sustainable and circular textiles, we will be in discussion with Krelyne Andrew from Sappi, Deon Saayman from Cape Wools SA, and Carolina Li from DDI about the developments of the African textile industry.
Armed with new ideas, practical ways forward, and invaluable industry connections, this event promises to be a blueprint for positive action for curious citizens, caring creatives, and change-making industry insiders alike
Sponsored by the City of Cape Town, the Global Organic Textiles Standard, Sappi, Cape Wools, H&M, V&A Waterfront, Goethe Institut, and British Council, the 2023 edition of Africa Textile Talks will uncover how textiles are more than just the materials that adorn our lives, but rather a lens to better understand history, culture, social and environmental issues, and the way the world works.
Armed with new ideas, practical ways forward, and invaluable industry connections, this event promises to be a blueprint for positive action for curious citizens, caring creatives, and change-making industry insiders alike.
The day will run from 09:00-19:30 and include a light lunch, snacks, and an evening social mixer event. Early bird tickets (available until 31 July 2023) cost R300 per person. Thereafter, tickets will cost R400 per person.
- View the full programme here. Book your tickets now via Quicket.
- For sponsorship opportunities, media information, or to apply for a media pass, contact Jackie May, Editor-In-Chief, Twyg. Cell: 082 825 1855; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cover image: Photograph by Nana Kwadwo Agyei Addo, supplied by The Or Foundation