Ghanaian International fashion designer, Sally Torpey, says attention must be given to production capacity while addressing quality concerns in the country to court international attention.
She argues that the African Continental Free Trade Area also presents opportunities for local brands to expand if these issues are addressed.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) agreement is a trade agreement between 54 African States that seeks to remove various trade barriers to improve trade amongst member countries.
Sally Torpey who is Africa’s ambassador for the Fashion Business Association of America and treasurer for the Greater Accra Chapter of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says the local market has so much potential yet to the tapped.
“As a fashion brand I think that we need to first start addressing the fundamentals of our production capacity to produce, how much are we able to produce and the quality issues. I feel like Ghana is doing amazing when it comes to fashion, everyone has something beautiful to showcase because our fabrics already tell a story of our people and heritage. It gives people some kind of excitement when they see our products, but we should know that our standards have not gotten to that place where we earn a proper seat in the fashion market because at the moment we are doing very little, we have very few products in different markets.”
She added that “In the American market, we are not really represented, we have close to nothing there and if we are able to step up our game and put high-quality apparel on the market, I believe we are able to harness every kind of opportunity that will come in the fashion industry. So after for us is another big opportunity, it’s good that Africa wants to trade amongst themselves but how do we do it should be we tackling our standards, and then I am sure we will do very well with it.”
It is common to find fashion designers, tailors and dressmakers in almost every nuke and cranny but despite their proliferation, very few of them have made it to the international market, a situation, Ms Torpey finds worrying considering the beautiful crafts that are churned out locally hence her call.
Sally Torpey is a member of the Kufuor Young Entrepreneurs and owner of the Sallet Fashion House Ghana; the Sallet Foundation; and the brands Oheema, The Travelers Custom Made Clothing (TCMC), and JAK Gentle Giant Collection.
Also, she is an international speaker with interests in fashion, business, women empowerment, and personal development.