03 Jun When Opportunity Knocks – 2014/06/03
There is no denying it; Africa is riding the crest of a cultural and commercial wave. Nowhere is this more evident or influential than in the cutting edge world of fashion. It is no exaggeration to add Accra, Abidjan, Lagos and Nairobi to the classic fashion calendar list of London, Milan, New York and Paris.
Couture is a hugely important part of, well, the fabric of this global cultural phenomenon, as fashionistas from around the world are increasingly drawn to the unique and beautiful designs out of the continent. From the catwalk to the streets, the vibrant colours and vivid designs of one of Africa’s oldest and most respected industries are adorning many of the best and most talked about styles that European and the USA designers have to offer.
But here’s the rub: too few people are able to get their hands on authentic African designs. All too often, the desirability of the fabrics is matched or even exceeded by their elusiveness. While this increases their appeal to some (exclusivity has always attracted a significant minority, in everything from the arts, to jewellery, to fashion), it also harms the growth of this booming market, not least because, inevitably, there is a determined group of scammers ready to take advantage of this state of affairs, by supplying poor quality fake products, usually at vastly inflated prices.
Happily, industry leaders are making great efforts to help end this unsatisfactory situation, or at least minimise the damage it does to an important and rapidly growing industry. Prominent among those taking the fight to the scammers is Tex Styles Ghana Limited (GTP).
As one of the region’s most established firms, GTP is determined to put the same care and pride into protecting its customers as it does into producing its legendary high quality fabrics. One of the key ways GTP is doing this is by actively seeking business partners in the growing markets of Europe, the USA and the Caribbean.
The investment GTP is making in this is not only to protect its valuable business, but also to protect the creative talents who conceive its beautiful and much sought after designs, the workers who bring them to life and of course, the customers, who choose GTP because they know and trust the brand’s excellent quality.
Everyone has a part to play in helping ensure that the best of Africa’s creativity is available to the wider world. Of course, this includes governments and regulators, but it also includes the customers, whose vigilance will pay dividends for everyone. If everyone does the right thing, the best designs will continue to be available, inspiring future generations of couturiers and fashionistas alike for many years to come. This is truly win-win stuff, and GTP is proud to play its part.
So, we have a very traditional and revered market, inspiring innovative designers around the globe, criminals exploiting the scarcity of the genuine article to sell shoddy fake goods and a unique, unprecedented business opportunity for entrepreneurs to collaborate with one of the biggest and most established names in the business.
The history of big businesses helping to nurture, support and empower small ones is a long and honourable one. The huge difference that makes this opportunity stand out from the crowd is that it is an African business seeking partners who share its passion to help the highest quality African fabrics reach the markets to which they have provided so much inspiration and influence over the past 15 – 20 years. This is an opportunity to get into a booming, ethically sound business on the ground floor; as rare and valuable a thing as the genuine African fabrics that GTP creates, if not quite as beautiful.