Meet the 3 ethical brands driving forward sustainable fashion in Nigeria


More brands are transforming their business models and improving their supply chains to reduce their overall environmental impact and improve social conditions for their employees.

We are also seeing a growing awareness among consumers about the fashion they choose to invest in. Consumers are making more conscious decisions about clothing and the entire fashion industry is turning towards a more green way of life.

Sustainable fashion about producing clothes, shoes and accessories in environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manners, but also about more sustainable patterns of consumption and use, which inevitably catalyses change in individual attitudes and behaviour towards the way they consume.

The main responsibility of fashion companies is obviously to change their production, distribution and marketing practices and strategies towards greater sustainability. In Nigeria, more brands are turning towards more sustainable models and thinking more profoundly about their social and environmental footprint.

Here are 3 ethical brands that are leading the charge!

1. Kiki Kamanu

Kiki Kamanu, creative director behind the eponymous label, was born to diplomatic parents, a Bostonian mother and Igbo father and her love of fashion was birthed when she began reinvent her twin sister’s clothes at a young age.

Kamanu’s dynamic pierces are available for both men and women who want to wear formal clothing with a quirky twist.. Hailed as the Vivienne Westwood of Nigerian fashion, Kiki is known not only for her eccentric designs but also because of her commitment to sustainable practices.

She is known for being outspoken about Fair Trade and sustainable fashion. Kamanu resigned from corporate America and moved to Lagos from where she creates and locally-manufactures all her clothes. Kiki Kamanu also runs a training program teaching Nigerian youths the ins and outs of the fashion industry, from making clothes to retailing and finding investment for fashion businesses.

2. Wanger Ayu

Wanger Ayu is a womenswear fashion brand for the modern African woman. Founded by a lawyer named Wanger Ayu, the label’s pieces are produced by Nigerian artisans who are specially trained by the brand themselves. The Wanger Ayu aesthetic is instantly recognisable with the label maintaining a delicate balance between structure and femininity.

Wanger Ayu is known for her distinct creations and has amassed a legion of celebrity fans including Eku Edewor, Kate Henshaw, Keturah King, and more recently, was endorsed by award-winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

3. Kinabuti

Founded in Nigeria in 2010 by Caterina Bortolussi and Francesca Rosset, Kinabuti was inspired by a long-term vision for the fashion industry in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Their signature afro-urban style bring cultures together as the fashion house combines the creativity of exquisite African textile with Italian designs. its ethical business efforts are focused on inclusive development empowering women and young people in its community that can result in positive and meaningful social change. Kinabuti showcases talents and celebrate diversity through partnerships in and outside Nigeria.

Kinabuti uses African fabrics to create Italian designs and by buying Kinabuti pieces, 10% of the sale price goes towards the Kinabuti Fashion Initiative (KFI), the brand’s empowerment programs trains women and youths from underprivileged communities in fashion related skills. The brand is committed to supporting the work of the rising generation of African fashion talent and uplifting the future generation of creatives.