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The British Council Arts Programme, in collaboration with Creative Hub Ethiopia, Fashion Scout (UK), and Marigat Gold (Kenya), has announced its latest initiative, Creative DNA Ethiopia, which aims to support early-stage fashion and accessory enterprises in Ethiopia.

Ten Ethiopia-based early-stage fashion and accessory enterprises have been selected to be part of the Creative DNA Ethiopia Programme. The Programme will provide business incubation support to the selected designers, offering them the opportunity to develop their business skills, strengthen their networks, and gain market opportunities in Ethiopia and the UK.

Creative DNA Ethiopia is part of the SSA Arts Creative Economy Programme, which supports the creation of new art and fosters partnerships between the creative sectors of the UK and East Africa. The Programme promotes innovation, creativity, equality, diversity, and inclusion.

“We are excited to launch Creative DNA Ethiopia. We believe that this program provides valuable support to early-stage fashion and accessory enterprises in Ethiopia, promoting innovation and creativity while fostering partnerships between the UK and East Africa,” said Temesgen Fissha, manager of Creative Hub Ethiopia.

The fashion enterprises will participate in digital coaching sessions, co-create online campaigns, and receive market opportunities, all designed to promote alternative and innovative approaches to the global fashion system. The Programme is committed to demonstrating that the fashion sector in Ethiopia is a professional choice for young people and a valuable contributor to the creative economy.

“The quality of designers that have applied has been of the highest level. Our team of experts will offer them an international approach that has proven successful in other countries around the globe,” said Martyn Roberts, Creative Director, Fashion Scout.

The designers joining the Creative DNA Ethiopia Programme are:

  • Yonael Marga, a slow-fashion brand based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, specializing in custom-made and conceptual art production, where cultures are re-interpreted in the contemporary context, and the ‘visual intersectionality’ that exists between cultures is emphasized.
  • Afthoro, is a brand inspired by the Arsi Oromo culture. The concept for Afthoro came from cultural items such as butter and meal pots made of bamboo and leather containers used in the early ’80s.
  • Afropian, a lifestyle brand based in Addis Ababa, focuses on telling the story of African excellence, by Africans for the world. Though it is strongly centered on Ethiopia, it is a journey across the whole continent and its history.
  • Tibebu Collection, a creative design studio established in December 2019, means wisdom, art, and creativity in Amharic. Tibebu aspires to fuse the modern and traditional experiences of society. Inspired by the authentic Ethiopian culture, it also experiments with various cultures around the world.
  • Dann Ltd, a streetwear brand aiming to satisfy every age group that loves streetwear and casual style while changing the way streetwear is viewed in Ethiopia.
  • SARAH Clothing aims to enhance, innovate, and provide the best quality products to its customers and to make a difference through the stories told in and by the products and branding by creating awareness that fashion is for everyone.
  • Natanem Couture  Natanem designs and manufactures fashionable wear to meet specific requirements. Every cloth is made with carefully selected garments and authentic storytelling embroidery.
  • RAHWA is an ethical fashion brand, founded by Rahwa Zeru in 2018. Its designs are inspired by bringing timeless looks to the products through great attention to detail and by taking a minimalistic, modern approach to traditionally known hand-loomed cotton fabrics.
  • TEYMNATION: is developed as a label for a place where its founders have full creative authority to do what they are inspired by, through fashion.
  • Zemenay: is a plus-size brand that works to promote body positivity, sustainability, and creativity through its storytelling pieces made to flatter different bodies.


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