A Report on HEVA’S Scoping Trip in Ethiopia (2017)

In late 2017, we ventured into Ethiopia to carry out research to gain further insight into their fashion industry and explore possible opportunities for collaborations involving their designers, other East African fashion practitioners and HEVA. This scoping trip was carried out in collaboration with the British Council’s East Africa Arts programme.

As a result of the trip we produced a report that highlights some of our key findings:

- The strategic steps and investment the Ethiopian government has taken to meet their ambition of becoming Africa’s leader in light manufacturing by 2025

- Insights into the vibrant and thriving local design scene, featuring brands such as Mafi, Yefikir, Zaaf, Meron by Leather Exotica, Paradise Fashion and Lali, among others.

- A review of Ethiopia’s production processes with a keen focus on their textiles and techniques

- A look at Ethiopia’s leather sector policy environment,

- The status on access to finance for designers

Our overall findings led us to conclude that Ethiopia is undoubtedly the most attractive country in which to set up a garment manufacturing unit in Africa, and is well on its way in its industrialisation journey. We identified attractive opportunities for collaboration and we look forward to exploring these further.