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3 reasons why Chimamanda Adichie's “Wear Nigerian” campaign is so important

Updated: Nov 24, 2018

By Melody David

Feminism doesn’t just stop with literature with this critically-acclaimed author & girls’ education activist. In May 2017, the author posted on her facebook page that she had decided to wear mostly Nigerian brands to her public engagements as a way of “growing the naira”, which has become dangerously undervalued in recent years. Over the past year she’s posted herself wearing several pieces with the hashtag #wearnigerian and #madeinnigeria. Her aim is to support Nigerian designers, especially those with a focus on women’s fashion. While supporting designers from your home country is commendable this campaign goes far beyond that. Here are the main reasons why we believe this campaign is so important;


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Dress:@amedeonline

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Dress: @_nayarose Slippers:@kenerapu

Diversity It’s a well-known fact that mainstream fashion is largely dominated by Western brands and European designers. Designers from non-European countries are wholly underrepresented at the world’s biggest fashion shows and in fashion media. However, this has begun to change with this year seeing more focus on African fashion than ever before. With advocates such as Naomi Campbell, who called for Vogue to launch an African edition after attending Arise Fashion Week in Lagos, the industry is finally paying to attention to African designers. Nigeria is leading the way in fashion along with Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa. Chimamanda’s campaign not only puts Nigerian designers in the spotlight, it allows for more and more people to see the creativity and genius of African designers. This allows for more diversity in the fashion industry both in terms of style but also allowing designers of colour to participate on a global scale. We love it.


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Sustainability (industry) Nigerians spend approximately $3billion dollars on imported goods every year according to the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (2017). This makes it very hard for local manufacturers to earn a living and means most of the money made in Nigeria isn’t spent there. In addition to this, Nigeria’s economy is largely dependent on fossil fuels such as crude oil. These resources are finite and their profits are rarely put back into the economy due to widespread corruption. By buying Nigerian brands, Chimamanda and others like her are creating a sustainable economy for their country. By spending money on local brands and manufacturers they are increasing their country’s wealth, strengthening collective buying power and encouraging other countries to spend their money in Nigeria. Foreign export is something Nigeria desperately needs in order to shake off her over-reliance on fossil fuels. Let’s hope others follow her example.


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Women Chimamanda’s vocal support for gender equality and female education is a practical reality, with the author choosing to buy pieces mostly from women. The self-proclaimed feminist is not only supporting her country’s economy she is quite literally putting her money where her mouth is. In recent months she has bought a collection of varied pieces made by women. These range from luxury brands such as Meena to custom-made designs from tailors like Lola Baej, all the way to affordable brands such as Titi Belo, Lady Biba and Fia Factory. Women in Nigeria are less empowered than their male counterparts when it comes to the ability to create personal wealth. With low access to education and patriarchal practices such as teenage marriage and female circumcision many women’s only route to financial freedom is to make their living from handmade and artisanal products. As female entrepreneurs ourselves, we’re delighted to see such an emphasis on women.

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Dress:@lolabaej


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Dress:@Meenaofficial


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Dress:@fiafactory


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Image Credits

@Chimamanda_adichie

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