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10 Reasons Why African Fashion Is Taking The World By Storm

10 Reasons Why African Fashion Is Taking The World By Storm

Since 2011, the number of online searches for the term ‘African Fashion’ has literally been on a non-stop upward growth curve signalling to anyone who’s been paying attention, that there is something going on here. In your day to day life, you may have noticed the recent resurgence of interest with regards to African Clothing and Fashion. Maybe you or a friend choose to wear a Dashiki every once in a while.

Whatever the case may be, the likelihood is you’ve noticed something; African Fashion is growing. But why may have eluded you up till now.

Below I will describe the 10 key reasons why I think that African Fashion has experienced this recent boom. And why, in my opinion, this is only the beginning.

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1. More and more of the African Diaspora are returning home, starting fashion-focused businesses

Many in the diaspora have decided that now is the time to return home and start up on their own. Fashion is a very popular sector for many starting a new business, as this is one of the lowest cost, most well-known businesses that can be started on the continent.

Social media makes it easier than ever to spread enthusiasm and create new interest in African Fashion as a by-product. An example of this can be found with Roz’Umy Couture in Senegal, whose Senegalese founder previously worked in the corporate world, but now produces some of the best traditional clothing in West Africa today. One of the company’s clients is the current President of Nigeria!

2. Social media has enabled greater exposure of African clothing

The ease and reach to which things can be shared and people can be reached has lead to a much broader range of tastes being served. This can be referred to as the ‘Long Tail’ of African Fashion so to speak. So that even those who previously did not really have interest, due to not seeing anything they liked, now have abundant choices.

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3. The African Diaspora (especially millennials) are re-learning and re-engaging with their culture

The increased interest over the last few years (due in large part to the increased availability of information from sources such as YouTube and Wikipedia), have lead to many in the African diaspora re-engaging and re-learning their culture. And that includes Fashion.

4. Western fashion has started to incorporate African-inspired ideas

You could hardly watch a model walking down a cat-walk in 2015 without seeing at least some African influence. It is no longer rare to see a Dashiki or Kente colored cloth in major fashion shows and parties around Europe nowadays.

5. Celebrities have begun to embrace African fashion

Celebrities such as Chris Brown and Beyonce have been spotted wearing traditional Dashikis and other African clothing. And as we all know, no-one is a better publicist for fashion than celebrities.

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6. Afro-beats has led to increased interest in all aspects of contemporary African culture

And as you might imagine, African culture also includes African fashion. The magnifying glass has been put on African culture in a big way. Interest in contemporary Fashion on the continent is an obvious by-product.

7. The rise of African Art has lead to an increased interest in these things too

African art on its own has seen a huge resurgence in recent years. With many paying millions for the most sought after items in the space. As with the example of Afro-beat, this increased appreciation has a parallel effect on other related areas, such as the Fashion sector.

8. African Fashion is worn more often by people in the Diaspora, leading to more recognition and appreciation

It is now seen as fashionable to wear African-inspired clothing in everyday life. More and more people are being drawn into the niche due to the simple fact that they see others that they know (or in some cases don’t), wearing these clothes.

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9. Increased political consciousness has lead ultimately to an interest in culture

With an increased consciousness of issues that affect black people around the world, such as police brutality, many have in sought answers to the question of how we got here and found a new appreciation for the culture and traditions of the past. Fashion and style of dress being a big part of that.

10. The rise of African cinema (Nollywood in particular)

African cinema’s growth, through channels such as YouTube, and VOD platforms such as iRoko TV has massively encouraged the growth of the African cashion sector. With many of the stars in the space regularly showcasing the best the continent has to offer.

Featured photo credit: Elvert Barnes via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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