Tie-dye fabric makers, known locally in Nigeria as adire, are experiencing a number of problems associated importation of cheap alternatives from abroad According to several members of the Adire Association based in Abeokuta, in Ogun State, also known as the adire capital of the world, creators of authentic adire are experiencing extensive theft of their designs and patterns, which find their way to the open market with zero benefits to the original creators.
According to them, foreign manufacturers, aided by Nigerian middlemen, carry off original, handmade adire designs from Nigeria, mass-produce them and then sell them as cheap knock-offs to Nigerians in markets around the country. The effect of this is that makers of authentic adire are never able to compete with the cheap print alternatives, which go as low as 1,500 for 5 yards. Authentic Nigerian adire is handmade and tie-dyed with local materials, but scarcity of raw materials including cotton fabric and dyes have significantly increased cost of production. In an industry that employs tens of thousands of Nigerians across the entire value chain, many find that they are not able to compete with the cheaper nylon and polyester print alternatives which have flooded the market in the past few years. While many have cut back on production, others have considered abandoning the trade altogether, even though it has been in their families for generations.
Adire Market Week, initiated by the wife of the governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, aims to highlight these problems while calling on regulatory bodies in Nigeria to address the issue of intellectual theft and unfair trade practices. It is also organised to promote authentic African adire, support local manufacturers and celebrate our culture. Supported by the Ogun State Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Ogun State Ministry of Trade and Investment and other private sponsors. The Adire Market Week 2022 is being organised in collaboration with various partners, primarily for the empowerment of women, with a focus on connecting them with the international value chain of the fabric market.
The OOA Foundation was present at the event to identify with the need to empower women while promoting our culture on the 7th of April 2022. See pictures below: