Ethical Apparel Africa
- Sector: Industry
- Country of operations: Ghana
Ghana and UK-based Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA) sources cost-competitive clothing and accessories from producers in West Africa for its brand partners. The company is a multi-faceted operation, combining capacity building with international order facilitation. It has a sales team that brings high-volume export orders to factories in West Africa and an on-the-ground technical team which helps those factories make their operations more efficient and to reduce waste. There is also an impact team that works with the factory owners to help them reinvest their savings into worker empowerment.
“This virtuous cycle of operational excellence, investing in workers and improving productivity is at the core of EAA’s model and drives our ability to deliver high-quality, cost-competitive, and ethically manufactured products for our clients,” says Chief Executive Keren Pybus, Co-founder of the business alongside Chief Operating Officer Paloma Schackert.
Against a backdrop of rising prices in Asia and pressure from within the clothing industry to find a new international manufacturing hub, EAA has been promoting the advantages that West Africa can offer, which include quick shipping times to the US and Europe, a low cost of living, good labour availability and low tariffs into key export markets.
“Combined with the right factory partners that are focused on people as well as profit, we have developed a network that not only competes on price but also offers brands a transparent, ethical sourcing solution,”says Keren.
Over the coming years, EAA plans to increase production capacity in the region, both through growth with its existing partners and by bringing new partners on board. It also aims to develop local technical skills within factories and universities through partnerships with development agencies and others. Such developments should also result in more employment opportunities for locals. “We expect to create 3,000 new sustainable jobs, particularly for women,” says Keren.