Innovate UK spotlights the importance of Nigeria’s Circular Fashion industry

Global Alliance Africa, a project of Innovate UK, organised a trip to in Lagos, Nigeria, with a primary emphasis on fostering innovative solutions within the nation’s burgeoning circular fashion industry. The trip aimed to unlock the potential of Nigeria’s Circular Fashion sector for substantial contributions to both the economy and global recognition.

Posted on: 10/11/2023
Innovate UK spotlights the importance of Nigeria’s Circular Fashion industry

In a bid to foster positive change held in Lagos, Nigeria from 24 to 26 October, the visit united creatives and fashion industry stakeholders, from fashion creatives, businesses to regulators, with key UK representatives to discuss challenges, innovations, and untapped opportunities to enhance circularity in the Nigerian fashion value chain.

A prevailing theme from the bilateral discussions was the substantial role of the fashion industry in Nigeria’s goal to reach net zero emissions by 2060. The stakeholders emphasised the extensive waste of textiles in the Nigerian fashion industry contributing to environmental degradation. This highlights an opportunity to reduce the waste of fabrics and clothing in general. For instance, Mudrakat Alabi-Macfoy, Head of Sustainability for the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) pointed out that the industry is grappling with financial constraints and emphasised the need for a textile segregation policy. 

One key highlight was the role of technology in reducing the waste of fabric in the Nigerian fashion industry with reference to a UK company currently deploying innovative AI-based solutions in identifying and sorting fabrics. This presents a potentially viable approach to meet the increasing market demands through the creation of recycled or repurposed textiles. 

Innovate UK spotlights the importance of Nigeria’s Circular Fashion industry.

The importance of helping businesses grow through innovation and commercialisation of products, processes and services, supported by an end-to end innovation ecosystem that is agile and inclusive that will drive partnership between the UK and Nigeria which is a part of the Innovate UK’s objective.

– Dr Nee-Joo Teh, Head of Global Alliance, Innovate UK KTN

It was also a valuable opportunity for the UK delegates to share the challenges faced in the UK’s sustainable fashion industry, highlighting initiatives and solutions deployed. Daniel Hatton, the founder of the Commonwealth Fashion Council, explained that his organisation is exploring the “blue fashion” concept which utilises fish scales to craft apparel and accessories as an alternative to other non-sustainable animal skins. This innovative approach not only promotes sustainable fashion but also addresses climate concerns by using materials that would otherwise go to waste. 

The emphasis on reusing and repurposing materials aligns perfectly with the broader theme of the dialogues in Lagos, exploring ways to transition into a more sustainable fashion industry. When talking about making progress in the sector, there was also an emphasis on the need for both private and public engagements to provide incentives and to attract investments fundamental to future implementation.

Holistically, the visit was a strong call for commitment and collaboration toward the UK-Nigeria Circular Fashion Innovation Network, which is aimed at promoting rich innovative circular economy solutions for the fashion industry. With the support of Global Alliance Africa and the dedication of stakeholders across both countries, the fashion industry in Nigeria is poised to embark on a transformative journey to define the industry and contribute towards reducing the impact of climate change.

Contact us

For more information, contact Chidubem Ejezie, Knowledge Transfer Manager – Global Alliance Africa at Innovate UK KTN.

About Global Alliance Africa

Global Alliance Africa is a six-year project funded by UK International Development through Innovate UK (GCRF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

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Nigeria is one of Africa’s most vibrant and dynamic fashion markets. Both the UK and Nigeria share a common goal – to create a high impact, innovative but socially responsible fashion industry. This trip aims to lay the foundation for an Innovate UK UKNigeria Circular Fashion Innovation Network fostering relationships and opportunities for future collaboration within the industry. 


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Global Alliance Africa

Global Alliance Africa

This Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa 6-year (2019-2025) project funded by UK International Development aims to build new and stronger UK-African partnerships to maximise the creation of inclusive market access, funding and investment opportunities through innovation knowledge transfer between the UK, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.


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