Tanzania Federation of Art Culture and Arts (TAFCA)’s President, Adrian Nyangemalle said in Dar es Salaam this week during the launch of the 12th Swahili Fashion Week that finishing and packaging remain big challenges facing local designers and apparel manufacturers.
Nyangemalle said local fashion designers and apparel makers are producing quality and durable clothing which if properly finished can upset big brand names anywhere on the globe including Southern Africa Development Community and East African Community blocs.
“As Tanzania strives to become a middle income and semi industrialized economy by 2025, even local consumers will start demanding quality apparel from local manufacturers,” Nyangemalle warned saying in order to avoid losing the market, designers and manufacturers should invest in technology and skills needed to address their shortfalls.
He said as the world is fast becoming a global market, local clothing designers and manufacturers stand a real risk of losing consumer support in the long run, people are concerned about quality and durability of the clothes that they buy.
“When you take to the market poorly designed and finished clothes, consumers will not have an option but to reject them and buy quality imported substitutes,” the TAFCA President charged while stressing that consumers are more concerned with value for money than patriotism, in most cases.
He called on local fashion designer and clothes makers to exploit the market opportunity being provided by Swahili Fashion Week exhibitions because consumers from all over the world will be in attendance as well as foreign designers and apparel manufacturers.
So far 34 fashion designers from Burundi, Italy, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and the US have confirmed to participate.
Nyangemalle said during the weeklong event, Italian fashion designer, Marta Zampoline will meet with local peers to share knowledge and experience on main challenges facing the former and train them on how to venture into the global markets with quality clothes.