Every man came into the world without any cloth. With the God’s mercy, clothes were created to help man sheltering himself from various tough moments from the weather and covering private parts that are not expected to be exposed. Philosophers have established this gesture within the concept of nakedness. Mark Twain, one of the philosophers, says clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. This indicates that no man would influence his society positively by being naked.  In an elaborate explanation, wearing clothes is basically related to physical appearance, character, and clothing of the individual.

Historically, people used leaves and other by-products from the animals as clothes before the emergence of civilization occasioned by the industrial revolution era. The era paves way for modern processing of raw materials into clothing materials and production into varied sizes for women and men in the society. In Africa, each society has its traditional clothes making system different from the western world method. Yoruba, one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria, is reputed for tie-dye cloth making. Using local colours and processes, Yoruba’s men and women who are into the business combine personal creativity and bright designs to create low-cost clothing. Tie-dye, also known as adire, is practiced in almost all Yoruba towns in Nigeria and other countries in Africa having Yoruba as residents. Yoruba cities traditionally noted for Adire are Osogbo, Ibadan, Ede, Ondo, and Abeokuta.

In the past, adire is mostly worn by women as wrappers. In the mid-60s it evolved into men’s shirts. Subsequently, it became a mainstream fashion in the 1990s. This resulted in mass production and sold in retail shops at large malls in the cities across the country. Recently, e-commerce platforms in the country have also played up people’s preference for the cloth. Renowned e-commerce such as Konga, Jumia, and Dealday usually have different fashionable designs on their platforms for customers within the country and outside.

Adire t-shirt production

Making adire t-shirt requires almost the same process using for other t-shirts produced from cotton, polyester, or a cotton/polyester blend. Adire, which has been made into a preferred pattern and style such as the standard crew neck and V-neck, as well as tank tops and scoop necks, need to pass through specific tailoring stages towards the production of durable t-shirt with mass appeal. The use of adire has become imperative based on the need to wear clothes manufactured from organically grown cotton and natural dyes.

The Market opportunities

Southwestern region is the biggest market for aspiring entrepreneurs. Yoruba, who admired the cloth mostly, constitute approximately 35 percent of Nigeria’s total population, and around 40 million. Out of this population, majority are youths who have specific preference for the cloth, most importantly when it’s transformed into a fashionable t-shirt. Investigation revealed that adire t-shirt, when produced, is likely to compete with the African fabric t-shirt. Young men and women love the fabric remains the sole reason. However, t-shirt industry is very large and accommodative of the new entrants. Entrants only need to be more innovative, emphasizing quality and work-out the right strategies towards superior customer responsiveness attainment. A large and rapidly growing population and fashion-conscious middle class are the key drivers of the market. Beyond these, increasing disposable income is expected to drive the demand for custom designed adire t-shirt. A peep into the foreign market of the cost of buying customized t-shirt shows that a t-shirt cost between N4,560 naira ($12 U.S.) to N16,340 naira ($43 U.S.) depending on the intricacy of the design. Any entrepreneur who could make appealing designs have the propensity of devouring from the market. To reach the international market, digitalization of the marketing processes and e-commerce platform remain some of the impeccable strategies.