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African Development Bank (AfDB) Fashionomics Africa Contest 2023 for African Designers & Fashion Entrepreneurs

The African Development Bank Fashionomics Africa initiative’s third online competition is offering $6,000 total in cash prizes, mentoring, new branding packages and other support for winning African designers of sustainable and circular fashion.

Fashionomics Africa, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, Parsons School of Design, strategic consulting and communications agency BPCM, and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, invite interested African fashion brands to apply to the sustainable fashion online competition. Entrants must be pursuing environmentally friendly measures, sustainability, and circular economy actions to qualify. The designer or design team submitting the “best sustainable design” will win $3,000 along with other prizes. Two other competition finalists will take home $1,500 each, plus other support.

About the African Development Bank (AfDB) Fashionomics Africa Contest

The competition celebrates African fashion brands that will change how we produce, buy, use and recycle fashion and that encourage a more sustainable shift in consumer practices.

The textile and fashion industry accounts for nearly 2% to 8% of global carbon emissions, the sector ranks as the world’s second-largest industrial polluter after the oil sector, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. However, this industry also provides important levels of employment, foreign exchange revenue, and products essential to human welfare.

The competition targets textile, apparel, and accessories entrepreneurs from Africa, aged 18 years or older, who have launched fashion businesses (up to a maximum of 50 employees), and whose sustainable designs have been produced within the last five years. Qualifying applicants will submit pictures of their products, detail their sustainable business model, and explain how their startup is environmentally friendly and innovative.

Examples of sustainability and circularity elements might include materials used, the design process, cleaner or greener production processes – including shipping methods or ways to reduce carbon footprint.

Eligible Criteria

  • The African Development Bank (AfDB) Fashionomics Africa Contest is open to African designers over 18 years old that live in Africa. Proof of age will be requested.
  • Participants must have launched a fashion business1 and operate in the textile (fabric making), apparel (clothing) or accessories sector.

Recently launched business are encouraged to apply. Proof of business registration will be requested.

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Selection Process

 The programs’ duration will be 8-weeks each and the content will be available in English, French, Arabic and Portuguese.

Through a competitive process, the most promising fashion entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their business ideas at the online Fashionomics Africa Pitching Days Competitions, resulting in 12 finalists each from the incubator and accelerator programs that will win a challenge grant of 20,000 USD each to scale up their operations.

Eligible Countries: African countries

Number of Awards: 1

Benefits of African Development Bank (AfDB) Fashionomics Africa Contest

In addition to the cash prize, the winning fashion brand will receive a certificate and the opportunity to showcase its creation by taking part in online events and sharing insights on key sustainability challenges facing the industry.

The winner will have access to a network of media insiders and industry experts and receive mentoring and networking opportunities from competition collaborators.

How to Apply

  • To learn more about the Fashionomics Africa online competition or to submit an entry below,
  • Applications must be submitted either in English, Portuguese, Arabic or French.
  • Failure to comply with these requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.

Application Deadline: 18th January 2023




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