Ghanaian fashion goes European

26 August 2022
ITC News

Manufacturing business from Ghana makes its way to Europe

Linda Yaa Ampah’s mission is clear: she wants to empower women through training and job creation.

Linda is the Managing director and co-founder of KAD Manufacturing, a Ghanaian company dedicated to producing apparel and pet toys.

Linda started off her entrepreneurial journey with a made-to-measure tailoring business, then it shifted to ready-to-wear business before it became an apparel and pet clothing manufacturing company in 2012.

“One night, we walked around Accra, that was when we saw young women sleeping in front of some shops. We talked to them with a counsellor and offered them the opportunity to learn the skills that would get them a job in our factory,” remembers the young Ghanaian manager.

Within 10 years, her business has grown into a medium-sized business prepared to attract international buyers. The business obtained the environmental and social compliance standards Sedex (SMETA) certificate and is working towards ISO certification. Through certification, Linda wants to improve her export competitiveness.

A network with success

To further boost the company’s trade capacity and benefit from the market, KAD Manufacturing joined the Africa Fashion and Textile Accelerator Network (Africa FAN). Thanks to the network, KAD Manufacturing established business connections with international brands and retailers. The company engaged in facilitated B2B meetings, showed their production facility to international buyers, and presented samples to prospective clients.

“The project brings us buyers whom we never would have met otherwise. That was a great opportunity.”

The company’s first highlight was a first order from European brand Panafrica.

“It was the first time for KAD Manufacturing to collaborate with a European brand, and the learning experience could not be found in a manual!”

They are currently preparing for the next order and hope to make this a long-term collaboration.

After having participated for one year in Africa FAN, KAD Manufacturing has gained essential skills to trade and first-hand experience in dealing with international buyers – from understanding their expectations to preparing for shipment and customs declaration.

Gearing up to meet increasing orders, the company expanded its production capacity and created over 230 new jobs targeted at women. The new hiring opportunities contribute to Ghana’s job market and the local community’s economic and social empowerment.

What’s next?

For the future, KAD Manufacturing’s goal is to secure long-term partnerships with international buyers to create more jobs, not only at the factory but also at the management level.

The strategy is to optimize its social media and online presence.

In addition, the company remains up to date with the latest trends and technology of the manufacturing industry.

Finally, as a founder who always puts her staff first, Linda is keen to improve her staff’s skills in merchandising and product development.

KAD Manufacturing is optimistic about the future of Ghana’s manufacturing. “This is a good moment for us. We get a lot of attention.”

About the project

African Fashion & Textile Accelerator Network (Africa FAN) is jointly implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the International Trade Centre's GreenToCompete initiative. The project aims to increase the sourcing of sustainably produced textiles from emerging textile and apparel production hubs in Africa, thereby creating jobs for the region’s growing workforce.