Shah, Karen and Kahabi, Charles (2016) Development of A Tanzanian National Dress: Explroations in Co-design , Recycling and Identity. In: Non Western Fashion Conference, 24th - 25th November 2016, Antwerp. (Submitted)

The demand and desire for a National Dress for Tanzania has been recognized by several agencies including the Tanzanian Government, local tailors, NGO’s and the people themselves. It is anticipated that the development of a National dress will help to project a unified image of cultural heritage, traditional norms and potentially galvanize the indigenous textile and clothing sector. This paper shows the current process of the development of Tanzanian national dress with a focused literature review, techniques applied during a fieldwork study for qualitative data collection and co-design workshops. It is accepted that second-hand clothing dominates the textile industry in Tanzania. The purpose of the workshop was to seek the most beneficial recycling techniques to incorporate into the design and manufacture of items such as a national dress. A range of qualitative methods were used to collect data from the Tanzanian society. During a co-design workshop, useful information were provided for designing a Tanzanian national dress. Moreover, the data obtained suggested important design principles that would guide designers in the design process and other essentials concerning traditional culture in relation to strengthening a national identity and for recycling.

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