NimaWear

Ethical African fashion sourced and stitched in Ghana

London, England 7 Sales On Etsy since 2019

NimaWear

Ethical African fashion sourced and stitched in Ghana

London, England | 7 Sales

Shop owner

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Toby

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Toby

Announcement    Our first run of shirts are now available to buy online. All produced entirely in Ghana by skilled tailors and seamstresses using only locally made materials.

Announcement

Last updated on 26 Jun, 2019

Our first run of shirts are now available to buy online. All produced entirely in Ghana by skilled tailors and seamstresses using only locally made materials.

About NimaWear

Sales 7
On Etsy since 2019

Nima is an ethical fashion brand promoting authentic African textiles.

We care about the people we work with and we care where our materials come from. Each item of clothing has been carefully hand-crafted by skilled tailors and seamstresses in Ghana, using fabrics sourced from across the country.

It’s estimated that over 70% of all textiles in the markets throughout Ghana alone are imported from China, often illegally. This is damaging the textile manufacturing industry in Africa as a whole as companies struggle to compete with Chinese replicas which often copy their designs and are sold at a fraction of the price.

We are committed to only using materials that have been produced in Ghana by supporting local manufacturers, artisans, market traders and wholesalers throughout the supply chain. Every time we buy a piece of material we make sure that we can trace the origin, whether it has been hand-dyed by an independent maker or machine printed by a textile manufacturer. We believe that if we are championing African fashion, then we have a responsibility to make sure it is in fact African.

The people we work with are at the heart of everything we do. We work together with independent tailors and seamstresses to make our clothes while paying them a fair wage for their work, so you can look good and feel good at the same time knowing where your clothes come from.

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A shirt changed my life...

It sounds mad, but it's true. When my friend Harry came home from Uganda in 2017 he came back with a shirt which had been cut and stitched by a seamstress using some bright fabric that he'd picked up in a market. I loved this shirt and I loved its story. The idea of having something completely unique made with the material he'd bought while supporting a local seamstress seemed like magic to me.

I wanted to find out as much as I could about these fabrics and when I found the term 'African Wax Print', the images that came up gave me the biggest smile. I was miserable in my job and wasn't in a very good place but looking at these bright colours and designs just made me happy.

After meeting with Magie Relph, author of 'African Wax Print: A Textile Journey', she explained that the fabric of this shirt of Harry's was not African made and that it had most likely been imported to Uganda. Many ‘African Wax Prints’ are not African at all as it turns out - there is a complex history of globalization dating back to the 1800s spanning from Indonesia, to the Netherlands and ultimately Africa. In more recent history, imported Chinese imitations have flooded the markets in Africa which has been cited as a key reason for the decline in African textile manufacturing.

I didn't know anything about making clothes or how this was going to work - I hadn't even been to Africa before but I was determined to at least try. It was important to me to make sure I was only using genuinely African made fabrics to support the industry in any small way that I could. So, with some direction from Magie, I quit my job and went to Ghana.

Finding Nima

I met my friend Nurainy on my very first day in Ghana when I asked my hostel to put me in touch with someone who could guide me through the Makola Market. Nurainy arrived on his motorbike to collect me and when I told him why I had come to Ghana he said ‘I am a tailor!’. We didn’t start working together until a couple of months later, it seemed too good to be true but maybe some things are just meant to be.

All production has taken place in Nima, a district in the capital of Accra and so the brand is named Nima to pay tribute to the people who made this happen and because of what Nima stands for as a place. Walking through Nima you are greeted by people from all across Africa who have come to Ghana, a country of peace, in search of a better life. Different nationalities, languages and faiths all side by side as one community, living and working together.

The vision for Nima is to promote this unity, to show what is possible when we work together and appreciate the things that make us different rather than fear them.

Around the web

Shop members

  • Toby Davies

    Founder

Production partners

  • Esther Amate

    Accra, Ghana

    Esther designs and dyes her batiks by hand in Accra, Ghana

  • Nurainy Inoussah

    Accra, Ghana

    Nurainy is based in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Originally from Togo, Nurainy came to Ghana to learn how to become a tailor as a boy and now has his own shop where he has taken on an apprentice, Fataou, to pass on his skills. All of the shirts have been cut and sewn by Nurainy and Fataou.

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on 26 Jun, 2019
Frequently asked questions
Care instructions

All shirts are 100% Cotton.

If machine washing, we recommend washing separately at 30 degrees or below on a delicate or reduced spin cycle.

For best results we advise to avoid machine drying. Hang to dry.

Seller details