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How diverse is your wardrobe?

By Andrea Byrne

Aug 26, 2020

African fashion brand, Sika'a, has released data uncovering a lack of diversity in British wardrobes.

According to Sika'a's report, results revealed that 62 percent of respondents had no knowledge of the origin of their clothing. 23 percent said they support independent retailers when shopping for fashion, while 70 percent stated that they buy most of their clothing from mainstream UK retailers.

Of the respondents, 23 percent of those owned clothing from independent fashion retailers and 25 percent owned clothing from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) fashion brands, whereas 43 percent were unaware of any non-western or BAME fashion retailers.

With sustainability in mind, 22 percent of respondents claimed to consider the implications of their purchases and 10 percent said they take brand and manufacturing ethics into consideration before buying fashion.

John Tchoudi, Sika’a founder, said in a statement: “As an independent, proud African fashion retailer we’re obviously disheartened by the insights from this study. However, this lack of cultural diversity in wardrobes is unsurprising given the clear underrepresentation of ‘alternative’ fashion retailers – with large, ‘mainstream’ fashion companies holding court in our high streets and online retail space.

“In addition to wider representation and subsequently awareness of non-western brands there is a clear need to address the taboos around alternative fashion cultures. Sika’a as a brand encourages all women to wear our clothes and feel beautiful doing so. Respecting a culture and its fashion should be encouraged, as should supporting small businesses.

“Ultimately, diversity should be of the upmost importance in the retail and fashion industry and allows individuals to express themselves through mediums such as colour, style, print and fabric. Wearing non-western fashion, when done with respect and acknowledgement of heritage rather than appropriating techniques, design, or prints is a powerful, influential move and should be encouraged.”

This study was completed with 1,000 adults in the UK.

Photo credit: Vinted