Gloria Wavamunno, a model at the very first Ugandan fashion week show that was held in Kampala in 2014, has beckoned on fellow designers to project their business towards encouraging local markets.
She said that the Ugandan fashion industry is in dire need of improvement. According to her, the industry is suffering due to struggling ventures, small scale production, semi-professionals, lack of viable infrastructures and absence of governmental and institutional support.
The situation has been made worse by the incursion of the Covid 19 pandemic.
According to Wavamunno, who is the founder and CEO of Kampala fashion weeks, there is a need for the recycling of used clothes. Also, all stakeholders must join hands to make sure that the industry survives the trying times.
“It is time for designers to think locally, and that their businesses do not have to be the same as international business models. In our creative industry, you have to see the clients because we are still more into tailoring than mass-producing for shops,” the 35-year-old CEO says.
“So how do you keep yourself and your customer safe? How do you reduce your production costs? I know people look at second-hand clothes negatively, but they can be a boundless source of materials if you look at it differently. It can be where you find your zippers, buttons or re-purpose clothing and fabrics.”
People want to be cost-efficient, but the Covid-19 pandemic issues may push up costs,” she said. “When everything opens up, people are going to double charge because they want to make their money back.
“Creatives also need to put their minds together. I am a founding board member of the Fashion Council Uganda, and we are trying to connect designers. Through the Kampala Fashion Week, I have reached out to many designers. Now it is about bringing designers together and helping each other.”
Wavamunno also advised her colleagues to look inward at the African market.