About this project
Prepare for a new wave of African Fashion! We are making beautiful everyday pieces made in Ghana using local fabrics. Believe in Better. Believe in TSM!
Johnny lives just outside of Accra in Adenta and currently has a small workshop where he trains other young makers. Whilst in Ghana we produced a video from a photo shoot using all of Johnny's hand made pieces. You can see it below:-
In 2016, Loughborough student Jack Fellows, 22, volunteered in Ghana with International Development Charity, Challenges Worldwide. During a 10 week, U.K Government funded International Citizen Service (ICS) placement Jack utilised his skills as a banking and finance student to support a Ghanaian fish smoking business. However, It was not only the fish smokers who benefited from Jack's time in Ghana. One year on, and inspired by Ghana’s cultural heritage and the talents of the young Ghanaians he worked with, Jack has founded his own ethical African apparel brand with a mission to celebrate Ghana’s fledgling fashion industry. As a result of the experience, Jack became interested in the state of the Ghanaian textile market commenting; ‘Clothes are the costume of our identity, and the Ghanaian textile industry has faced many years of decline’, he set out to support local tailors by exporting their ethical goods, and brought 90 bags to Hong Kong hoping to sell them. That was the start of his venture ‘The Social Mercenary’. The launch event at the Conrad Hotel, only saw TSM sell 4 of the 90 bags that they imported. Nonetheless they persisted in starting a website and have now sold almost all their bags and are looking to launch a kickstarter on August 10th. Jack said, ‘It’s been a journey, but TSM has grown and matured in the last six months into something that I believe can make a difference in Ghana. We’re looking to sell bags, t-shirts and caps on the kickstarter.’ Currently, TSM has only one member of staff working on producing their caps, as opposed to a network of ethical Ghanaian factories producing the bags organised by Ethical Apparel Africa. If the kickstarter meets its target, the Social Mercenary will be able to meet the minimum 500 bags order. The profits will be reinvested in the tailors and Jack will be looking to buy a peak finisher which will massively speed up production of the hats; a first of its kind for Ghana.
Risks and challenges
Production – We have an amazing relationship built on trust, experience and reliability with our manufacturers. We have partnered with specific organisations such as Ethical Apparel Africa and Kente Master so that we can deliver high quality products local to Ghana. Our bag and tee-shirt makers are on standby and anticipating our order, and have no issue dealing with order volume.
Because we are the first in Ghana to produce baseball caps with african print, there may be more risk when purchasing this product. The caps are currently being made by local tailor Johnny and we have made countless prototypes to ensure the perfect cap. However, if there is a larger than anticipated order then we will have to outsource and train others in Ghana to help with production this may delay fulfillment. We hope there will be enough profit to buy a peak finishing machine which will allow for faster cap manufacture. We do promise however that the caps will always be made in Ghana.
Timing – We have to the best of our knowledge, established a reasonable production and fulfillment schedule. To avoid delays in fulfillment, we have taken some precautionary measures. However, as tiny as it may be, the risk of running into issues with fulfillment will continue to exist. In the case where there are changes to our fulfillment schedule, we will keep our backers posted with progress updates and open communication.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)