In Benin, entrepreneurship in the fashion and textile sector is booming. This renewed interest is believed to be the outcome of the support of the political authorities and the population for the consumption of local products in recent years.
With this in mind, the designer Elvira AKPLOGAN decided to create her brand, LOAN-H. The aim she says "is to bring a modern touch to Kanvo, the woven fabric of Benin".
"People have now understood that the woven fabric is a sought-after material, an exploitable material and we are working to make our woven fabric, the Loan-h woven fabric, more flexible, more manageable and easy to use in everyday life" Akpologan said.
"My great wish is for Benin to have its own real label because it is useless to have cotton at home but to go and take entras elsewhere" she explained.
One step in this vein is Elvira Akplogan's plan to set up her own woven fabric production unit. For each collection, at least 54 rolls of 25 metres of woven fabrics are produced, as well as 300 pieces of clothing each quarter. Among the buyers are Kanvo lovers and African fashion enthusisats.
"Before, when I was alone, I didn't have work like I do now. So at this rate, there is a lot of work. After finishing the fabrics, and i find them in the Loan-h shops, it gives me joy in my heart because I look at them and I wonder if it was me who made them come out with the help of Laon-h? I marvel and see that I really did have potential but didn't know all the while". - the words of an excited weaver in Cotonou, Christian ADJEHOUNOU sharing his experience with the Loan H.
Some Loan H customers also shared their love and appreciation of the woven fabrics and designs. "**When you weave, that is to say, by hand, you take care, and that's what makes it special. In fact, this initiative should be encouraged,** Ulriche told our journalist.
Although the buzz around the Beninese woven fabrics is great, the quantities produced still fall short to meet customer demand in the country.
Many believe this is due to a lack of a thriving textile industry in the country, something the authorities say they are committed to growing.