Why Have We Chosen to Keep Production In Africa?

Amidst the vivid hues and intricate cultural fabric of Cameroon's busy streets, my sister and I embarked on a journey that would change not only our lives but also the face of African fashion. Our brand, which began as a modest endeavor and has grown into a £20 million business, is well-known for its styles, prints, and captivating models which perfectly capture the essence of African expression. Grass-fields is unique, though, not only because of our growth but also because of our steadfast dedication to retaining all of our production in Africa.

And the question a lot of people have asked is… why? Moving production out of Africa is a ‘smarter’ move and would reduce production costs and increase profit margins.


Growing up in Cameroon, we were immersed in vivid African prints, intricate patterns, and vernacular craftsmanship. It was here that our passion for fashion took root, inspired by the rich heritage of the Grassfields of Cameroon. However, our path to success took a lot of work.

Like many aspiring entrepreneurs, we faced numerous challenges along the way. Limited resources, lack of infrastructure, and a competitive market were just some of the hurdles they had to overcome. But they kept going, fueled by their passion.

The decision to fully embrace our African heritage marked a turning point for Grass-fields. Rather than following international fashion trends, we took cues from our cultural background to add a distinctively African flair to our designs. Our brand reached new heights as a result of the authenticity that struck a chord with consumers both domestically and overseas.

But in the middle of our explosive expansion, we had to make a crucial choice about where to make our clothes. Many fashion brands sacrifice quality and ethics in the process of outsourcing manufacturing to nations with cheaper labor costs. However, this was never an option for Us.

We have complete faith in the ability of Africa's talented craftspeople and the potential of the continent's emerging fashion industry. Something we do our best to guarantee is fair wages and working conditions for our workers in addition to boosting local economies by retaining production on the continent. We also keep a tight relationship with our suppliers, which promotes cooperation and a sense of community.

But perhaps the most compelling reason for keeping production in Africa is the opportunity to showcase the continent's rich cultural heritage on a global stage. Each garment tells a story, woven with threads of tradition and craftsmanship passed down through generations. By preserving these traditions and celebrating Africa's diversity, We hope to challenge stereotypes and inspire pride in African identity.

Today, Grass-fields stands as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the untapped potential of Africa's fashion industry. From humble beginnings in Cameroon to a £20 million enterprise, We have defied the odds and carved out a place for ourselves in the competitive world of fashion. And as we continue to grow and innovate, one thing remains clear: our commitment to Africa and its people will always be at the heart of everything they do.

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1 comment

How much of African traditional fabrics are being used for your cloths. I have been a customer and have followed your story and was excited for this reborn. However, I am yet to see how this is showcasing the traditional fabrics of Africa. What does maintaining production in African mean – are you going beyond Cameron to see artisans or open factories. Have you head of Akwete Cloth? Hoping to learn more

Ihuoma Kay Solomon-Okoli

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