About MFC

Make Fashion Clean (MFC) is a creative non-profit that makes clean and circular fashion. MFC works to align the positive intentions of fashion consumers in the USA with real impact for artisans in Ghana, West Africa.

About MFC

Problem   •   Mission   •   Solution   •   Partnership   •   Impact & Measurement


Make Fashion Clean (MFC) is a creative non-profit that makes clean and circular fashion. MFC works to align the positive intentions of fashion consumers in the USA with real impact for artisans in Ghana, West Africa.


Problem

MFC was founded in response to the decline of the textile industry in Ghana and its subsequent economic impact on the lives of artisans. Over 2 million people in Ghana (or 11% of the adult population) are engaged in artisanal crafts as their primary source of employment. These artisans are often women or marginalized people such as persons with disabilities. Many struggle to earn a living wage to support their own basic needs and their families. 

 

Decline of Textile Industry Jobs in Ghana

 

In 1980, there were over 25,000 jobs in the formal textile industry in Ghana; today, there are less than 3,000 jobs. So – what’s changed? One major change is that over the last three decades, secondhand clothes were introduced to the market. Accra, the capital of Ghana, now imports more than 60 million pounds of secondhand clothes each year. This is more than double any other African country in terms of kilogram per capita, and this amount is growing.

 

Kilograms per Capita of Clothes Imported by Country

 

But where are these secondhand clothes coming from? It turns out... between 50 and 80% of all secondhand clothes that are donated to retail thrift stores in the USA are actually resold overseas in Ghana and other African countries. In Ghana, the massive increase in secondhand clothes over recent decades has destroyed economic opportunities for artisans within the formal textile industry and the informal artisanal industries. Furthermore, these secondhand clothes ultimately end up in landfills in Ghana and across Africa where they pollute the air, land, and water.


Mission

Fashion consumers in the USA donate clothes with positive intentions of having these items reused within their own communities. However, their clothes are often instead shipped to Ghana where they prevent local artisans from earning living wages and unfairly shift fashion waste and pollution from the USA to landfills in Africa. 

The mission of MFC is to align the positive intentions of fashion consumers in the USA with real impact for artisans in Ghana. MFC also seeks to raise consciousness about the global environmental and economic impact of post-consumer fashion waste generated in the USA to contribute to consumer behavior changes. To advance this mission, MFC raises awareness about the problems associated with fashion consumption and alternatives to waste, makes clean and circular fashion with artisans in Ghana, and evaluates the social impact of the work it supports and products it sells.


Solution

1. Reduce Fashion Waste

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MFC raises awareness about the global environmental and economic impact of post-consumer fashion waste and alternatives to waste. This works to reduce fashion waste sent to Ghana and to landfills in the USA.

2. Create Circular Fashion

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MFC offers a new market for marginalized artisans in Ghana to sell upcycled products in the USA made from secondhand fashion already present in their economy. This creates living wages and social inclusion.


Partnership

During 2016, a collaboration began between a Ghanaian artisan and an American public health student, resulting in the creation of two organizations – Matilda Flow Inclusion (MFI) Foundation in Ghana and Make Fashion Clean (MFC) in the USA. Make Fashion Clean (MFC) is a 501c3 non-profit organization incorporated as MFC Tie-Dye Inc. in Minnesota, USA.  MFC maintains a close relationship with the MFI Foundation and has supported the foundation since its onset. 

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MFC's social enterprise model involves selling clean and circular fashion made by artisans in Ghana to consumers in the USA. MFC's newest collection of products is called Blue Circle Bags. The sale of these products is the primary income stream that supports the missions of MFC and MFI Foundation. The MFI Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization located in Greater Accra, Ghana. The foundation operates a transitional employment program for women with disabilities, mothers of children with disabilities, and community members seeking work in inclusive environments.


Impact & Measurement

MFC measures and evaluates the impact of MFI Foundation's work and the upcycled products that MFC sells. Social metrics include the achievement of living wages, social inclusion at the foundation and within the community, and meaningful work activities. Environmental metrics include reductions in fabric waste and water use. These metrics are assessed in-person at least once per year through a site visit to the MFI Foundation and in monthly reports by the MFI Foundation to MFC. MFC also assesses the value of its online platform – makefashionclean.org – through monitoring traffic and engagement on the website and counting the number of recycling partners that it develops.


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