Clothing and fashion in Africa is a diversified topic that offers an insight into various African cultures. Highly colored textiles, abstractly broken robes, decorative beaded bracelets, and collars vary. Clothing varies.
- Since Africa is a continent so wide and so diverse, traditional garments vary across every region. For example, many West African countries have ‘distinct regional dress styles, which are produced by the long-standing textile crafts in weaving, dyeing, and printing.’ The difference between rural and urban communities is broad in African fashion.
- In African mode, rural and urban populations are very much in contrast. Usually, urban communities are more subject to trade or the changing environment, whereas modern western trends in rural areas take more time.
- In African fashion, European influence is also widespread. The Ugandans began to wear, for example, “full-length pants and shirts.
- ” However, women began to change influences of “victorian dresses of the nineteenth century.” These types include: “Long sleeves, full rib, and generally a vibrant arch attached to the tail.” This dres’s style is known as a bust.
Another recent trend is to add traditional wraps to modern western clothes, such as T-shirts. Rural cultures have also become part of their daily styles of second-hand clothes/western clothing.
- For instance, rural Zambian women have begun to combine ‘second-hand clothing with a single chitenge length, which has been used as wrappers for the dress.’ With the globalization of western clothing from urban to rural areas, people with different clothes styles are now more popular.
- Traditional women’s clothing styles in North-eastern Africa, especially Egypt, have been influenced by Middle-Eastern cultures.
- The Jelabiya that is literally broken and similarly worn in the Gulf States is an example. Similar properties are shares of djellaba (worn in Northwest Africa) with Grand Boubou, Dashiki, and Kaftan in Senegal. Women wear headbands in Nigeria.
All west communities, which sell used clothes to profitable companies in Africa, offer non-profit organizations. In some parts of the continent, these “white men’s clothing” are popular. In certain places, this used clothing has a certain controversy and is called Mitumba.
- Critics refer to it as a challenge to local suppliers of apparel and denounce the exploitation of customers. Others[who?] claim that the clothing used is valuable competition for local goods that are often costly and of poor quality.
- Before humanitarian organizations began to import used clothing, the largest import of cotton clothing to Africa was inexpensive cotton clothing from Asia.
- Western charities soon started to provide African refugees and the poverty with used clothes. Sub-Saharan African countries are one of the largest clothing import destinations.
While used clothing is traditionally sent to the lower classes, it is now popular in other African social classes. For many individuals, second-hand clothing, regardless of their classes, is used in a daily fashion. Since a range of clothes were always available and the price was perfect.