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Economic situation affects fashion businesses

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By Usman Oladimeji

Fashion business owners in Nigeria have been forced to adapt.

The Nigeria fashion industry, like every other industry, is greatly affected by the crunching effect of the economic situation within the country presently. This ranges from the leftover impact of COVID-19 to the devaluation of the naira against US dollar and the imposition of higher customs duties. As a result, fashion business owners in Nigeria have been forced to adapt and take on various roles beyond just designing. They now also function as producers, distributors, quality controllers, and delivery service providers in order to generate sales. Entrepreneurs have honed their ability to adjust quickly, mirroring the unpredictable changes in the value of the naira.

After surveying various factors, it is believed that the Nigerian fashion industry’s ultimate objective should be to establish a completely domestic manufacturing process. This entails sourcing all materials, including threads, fabrics, dyes, and the construction of garments, locally. Achieving this goal requires a commitment to long-term planning and investment in essential infrastructure like reliable electricity and safe water access. In order to maintain a thriving fashion industry, it is crucial to tackle agricultural challenges and improve crop quality, especially cotton production.

Devaluation of Naira greatly affects Nigerian fashion brands.

An effective approach for businesses is to focus on overcoming obstacles throughout the entire value chain, starting from sourcing raw materials from farmers and textile mills all the way to managing manufacturing, marketing, and logistics processes. This ambitious objective can be realized with adequate assistance and time. Sustaining our fashion sector is not only beneficial for the economy but also for projecting a positive national image. Nigerian brands are gaining recognition worldwide for their vibrant representation of the country’s culture, and the global audience is responding enthusiastically. Renowned figures have been seen proudly donning Nigerian labels, further solidifying the brands’ appeal on an international scale.

One major issue greatly affecting Nigerian fashion brands today is the rapid devaluation of the Naira. Prices of essential goods skyrocket in a matter of hours due to the reliance on imports for garment production. This constant increase in costs makes it challenging for brands to maintain competitive pricing and replenish their inventory. Fashion businesses in Nigeria must find ways to survive the economic crisis exacerbated by the rising cost of diesel fuel, which is driving up production expenses. To navigate the current economic crisis, Nigerian fashion businesses must adopt various strategies to ensure their continued operation.

Businesses should reassess their budgets and make cuts.

In today’s fast-paced economy, it is essential for businesses to quickly adjust to emerging trends. For example, if the colour pink becomes popular, fashion companies must swiftly integrate it into their product lines in a creative manner. The key is to maintain a persistent sales strategy. Additionally, it is important for businesses to reassess their budgets and make necessary cuts to stay competitive. Consider the possibility of these cuts being short-term measures to bring stability. These changes could lead businesses in unexpected directions that might actually be advantageous for your own business.

It is crucial to approach the communication of your brand message with empathy and awareness of your customers’ emotions in order to maintain a positive brand image and stay relevant. Growing your customer base is essential for boosting sales, and leveraging various social media channels is an effective way to reach a global audience. Focus on creating quality content and putting in consistent effort. Diversifying your revenue streams through exporting goods can help you maintain a steady income in the current economic climate.

Related Article: Nigerian fashion industry requires investment

Moreover, the fashion scene in Nigeria has seen impressive growth and global recognition despite numerous obstacles hindering industry professionals. These hurdles have particularly impacted smaller brands trying to grow and become major players in the fashion world. Nonetheless, Nigeria has successfully cultivated talented designers and entrepreneurs who are making a name for themselves on an international level, showcasing the country’s fashion prowess. The nation has gained traction for not only its wide array of locally-made fabrics and clothing items, but also for its talented fashion designers who have honed various skills and established successful enterprises in the process.

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