I started this blog a few weeks ago from Texworld USA's apparel sourcing conference in New York. When my partners and I started Mezam Apparel the goal was to create a fashion brand that expanded the experience of wearing African prints. Our first attempt at this was creating a line of workout leggings that were high quality and unique. Of course there are ups and downs in starting any business, but through persistence and faith we made it happen.
Without a background in fashion, we took the first steps to make our dreams a reality and contact clothing manufacturers around the world. We started small and successfully produced our first line of Mezam Apparel items. Throughout the process, one things always stuck out: there is a lot of wasted fabric in the apparel industry. My partners and I were convinced that this waste contributed to the high cost of production.
Fast forward to Textworld where a special focus was placed on sustainability in the fashion industry. Our suspicions about waste in the fashion industry were not only confirmed, but truthfully the problem is much worse than one could imagine. Synthetic fibers are here forever. The increasing use of plastic in our textiles means landfills piling up with our old clothes, bedding, pillows etc. I have seen these clothes being sold in Cameroonian markets. Unfortunately, more and more of these items end up in landfills next to the poorest communities on earth.
The picture looks bleak, but there are a lot of innovators around the world trying to find solutions to different parts of this problem. While it is difficult to create new textiles from old ones, several companies are using new technology to do just that. There are designers that create new items of clothing from used fabric. Since dying is a large part of Mezam's business I was happy to discover that there are new methods of printing that reduce the amount of water needed in the process.
At Texworld, I learned a lot about how to make Mezam Apparel a more sustainable brand. The main reason for attending the Textworld conference was to find new sources of fabric and manufactures so that Mezam Apparel can offer newer and better clothing for a lower price. Luckily I met many suppliers from around the world that are committed to sustainability and look forward to creating new looks with us. In order for this to happen please spread the word about Mezam Apparel and support us in our endeavor to create beautiful African prints in an environmentally friendly way.