The sun blaring down on your back. You are hunched over, sweat dripping from your brow, down through the bridge of your nose and onto your upper lip. You are sandwiched between a group of young women, gushing over a t-shirt and another woman haggling over the price of a dress. Your frustration is growing by the minute. This is probably the hundredth stall you have been to and still can’t find a bloody dress that you like.
You walk into one of Nairobi’s many modern and upscale malls and scour through the floor looking for a shop that sells Kenyan clothing at affordable prices. The above scenarios all ring true if you are a shopper who is in a constant search for quality and affordable local apparel.
Oftentimes, as a shopper, you have to choose between buying an expensive, export quality Kenyan garment and buying second hand clothes or a cheaper import from the new clothes stalls in town.
Kenya used to have a flourishing local textile industry until it collapsed in the early 90’s. However, in the recent past, the industry is now slowly getting back on its feet and the future is promising. Kenya’s clothing import bill currently stands at USD 815million which hurts the domestic textile market. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, in partnership with the Textile and Apparel firms have organised the first ever export quality sale, dubbed ‘Super Sale.’ The initiative is under the Export Processing Zones Program.
It is meant to accord Kenyans an opportunity to access quality, local and export quality clothes at an affordable price range of between Kshs 100 to Kshs 600 on clothes that fetch Kshs 6000 in foreign markets. This is in a bid to lower Kenya’s domestic clothing import bill, meet a growing demand for Kenyan made clothes and boost local textile production.
The Super Sale will take place for three days from the 28th – 30th and it will be at the KICC grounds. It will also take place in other major towns such as Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu.
It will feature firms that export for some of the biggest brands in the world. Some of these companies include Hela clothing that opened the first intimate clothing production line in Kenya and has exported for brands such as Victoria Secret and Calvin Klein. Noel & Noella, which exports sportswear to some of the biggest sports brands in the world will also be at the exhibition.
The initiative is also geared towards setting up a new supply chain of local export quality clothes that is hoped to create a further 100,000 jobs to the current 179,000.
In a bid to continue to promote local production, the government issued VAT tax exemption for export producing firms that retailed their leather footwear and clothes locally.
Overtime, the Cabinet Secretary of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adan Mohamed hopes that there will be an industrial park in Naivasha that will contain a textile cluster which would go a long way in fulfilling the, “Buy Kenyan, Build Kenya,” policy.
Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to spruce up your wardrobe with the best Kenya can offer in terms of export quality clothing at very affordable prices.
Featured Image via Shicachic.com.