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The importance of having a more inclusive fashion industry

By Thomasina R. Legend

Topics that have always been up for discussion in the fashion industry have been inclusivity, sustainability, ethicality and diversity. These topics have caused fashion brands to be more introspective when it comes to inclusivity. While there has been a lot of progress made this year alone, there is notably still a way to go and so much still to achieve especially where inclusivity is concerned. This year alone, it has been amazing to see brands soar to the top and compete with big named brands and give them a run for not only their audience but their money by championing inclusivity.

KAI Collective, by the Nigerian London-based designer Fisayo Longe, started her fashion brand with a deep passion for women and equality. It seeks to create clothing for multidimensional women who embrace their femininity in various forms. KAI collective has been celebrated for its diversity and inclusive attributes of creating clothes that fit women and men of all sizes.

Another brand with an inclusive and sustainable ethos is Tongoro Studio by Sarah Diouf, launched in 2016 and now with power names like Noami Campbell, Beyoncé, Kelly and more as her customer base. Fully invested in every area of her brand, Sarah fuses an inclusive motto of working with creative talents from diverse backgrounds in telling the unique story of her brand Tongoro which is proudly made in Africa.

Rihanna's Fenty brand is another brand championing inclusivity with her vision and passion for inclusion striking a chord with consumers and comes across more authentically. From using plus-sized models, models of all races to creating gender-neutral products that cater to a wide range of consumers who feel like the brand truly understands their wants and needs. According to Rihanna, she doesn't believe in division and excluding others.

Rihanna's brand has been successful in showing other brands how important representation means to consumers and how to cater to a more expansive and diverse society.

There are many other brands proudly celebrating their inclusivity. It is important to note how they are succeeding in areas that other fashion brands from luxury to high street have consistently failed at and are still struggling to grasp a hang of.

Inclusivity is more than the idea and concept of sizing, and just as fashion covers all areas from design to advertising, marketing and more, so should the point of inclusion. Inclusivity means access and building creative spaces, agencies, and platforms that cater to a diverse community from designers, models, photographers, hair and makeup, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community.

Inclusivity is important because it opens doors for diversity, which the industry should be more of in this present age and time. Diversity drives creativity and innovation, as we evidently see with African Fashion brands as they have thrived during this pandemic by incorporating innovation. Becoming inclusive also helps with productivity and performance, which benefits the industry in the long run. Being inclusive also opens your brand to a broader audience which helps to grow your brand's visibility as well.

Image credit: via This Magazine


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