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Starting out in a business has its ups and downs. This is no difference in the fashion industry. When starting off, some have the intention of creating a sustainable brand rather than an immediate growth that fizzles into extinction in no time. With this emphasis on sustainability, some emerging designers face these challenges as they make their way to the top.

Some investors aren’t interested in sustainability. As an independent owner with sustainability goals, getting investment may become tricky. This is because in order to maintain those goals you have to somehow also maintain being 100% owner of your business. Most times, the investors are looking into a business where they can make a profit in a considerable amount of time. It takes a special kind of investor to follow the business owner patiently waiting for their objectives to actualise.


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Progress is stronger when the team is on the same page. No business can run smoothly if everyone is going in the pace and direction they will. It is even worse when the people you have employed under you don’t believe in  the same ideals you do. For the best outcome out of an emerging business, everyone has to be on the same page. This will keep them innovative and proactive.

Getting ideal materials can be difficult for a growing brand. When you enter the market, they want to be unique and stand out. Without it, they just become like everyone else. However, this can become tasking as the materials company can change due to demand and supply. Even so, those one of a kind type of materials may have a tolling financial implication on the growing brand.


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Some products also do not have recycling alternative solution. This can prove problematic because items such as polybags have no recycled equivalent and this drives the business owner crazy. They end up continually spending on polybags for example because people need to carry the items bought, and there is definitely no way to reuse the polybags.

Furthermore, some eco-friendly techniques aren’t always accepted in the luxury market. It is almost like luxury and environmentally friend don’t go together. At the luxury point, the product has to be beyond exceptional. The person wearing it may not necessarily care about what kind of eco-friendly wool was used. if it doesn’t feel great to touch, no matter what kind of material is used, it will be rejected.


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Surviving in any market can be tough. These challenges aren’t ones that cannot be overcome. With these challenges in mind, the emerging business owners have the opportunity to overcome it and become the driving force of change in the industry.


Written by Nkem Ikeh

Images: usaid.gov, ishaneducation.com, rockpaperink.com

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