Has anyone ever heard of Assin-Fosu? We do, because it’s our base! In this blog we give you an insight in the town Fosu and why we based there.
About the Brand
Akwan2fo is a young fashion company that creates modern African fashion. All garments from the company’s brands Sankofi & by wubben are designed in The Netherlands and handmade locally in Ghana. The company started a collaboration between tailors within Assin Fosu and Dutch designers in 2014, before it officially launched a production site in Assin Fosu, Ghana, in September 2016. The brand currently employs seven people including four tailors, a general manager, marketing manager and a student. All employees are Ghanaians.
Getting to know Assin Fosu
Assin Fosu is a small town located in the Assin North Municipal. The Assin North Municipal is one of the seventeen municipal districts in the Central Region of Ghana and Assin Fosu is the municipal capital. Assin Fosu is located away from the hustle and bustle of major cities in the Central and Greater Accra Region. The town is a good 3-4 hour journey from Ghana’s capital city Accra, making it a good choice to escape from the noise and glamour of major cities and an amazing option for a stress free and quiet weekend.
The people of Fosu are Akan and therefore speak Twi. They are known for their good food and their friendliness towards other people. The town has a very interesting historical background as can be seen from its name: ‘fow’ in Akan means to become/make wet and ‘suw’ means to rot, molder. The people of Fosu are historically known to be in constant conflict with warlike neighbors and therefore they were determined that whomever should attack them would have to get wet and then mouldy hence the name Fosu.
The many villages around Assin Fosu mainly rely on farming. The soil is perfect for growing cocoa, plantain, yam, casava and palmnuts. A lot of cocoa that we use for our choclate here in Europe comes from area’s around Assin-Fosu. Besides the farms the town is located within the bush. With just a 5 minute drive you can escape from all the noice of the town and enjoy all the sounds and beauty of the bush.
Akwan2fo Fashion was officially launched in June 2014. The initial concept was to collaborate with Dutch fashion students to design the collections and produce them locally in a small town in Ghana, to create more working opportunities for Ghanaian tailors. A lot of people may constantly wonder, why Ghana or most importantly why Assin Fosu? When our founder William Wubben volunteered in a soccer project in Ghana in 2011, he never imagined that that one encounter would develop into a passion not just for fashion and entrepreneurship but also for Ghana.
After William’s first trip to Ghana, he returned so many times, even living for six months in the village Assin-Akonfudi: “It was the warm and friendly nature of Ghanaians and my passion for football that inspired me to come back to Ghana everytime. When I got in contact with the tailors in Assin-Fosu, while I was coaching a local football team there, I ended up producing some pillowcases and bags. When I returned in The Netherlands I started selling them online. This went so well that I started to collaborate with Dutch fashion students to create whole collections. Now three years later we have our own production site in Assin Fosu and produce 80-120 garments a month. We always aimed high and as we developed ourselves constantly the company did as well. I shouldn’t forget my local partner Alhaji Bala is also one of our success factors. He is the perfect balance between cultural differences we faced”.
Decisions and Changes
The company Akwan2fo first started as a fashion label where only pillow cases and bags were made but is now focussed on producing garments. With markets in USA and Europe the company was able to grow fast. At this moment Akwan2fo is changing into a production company open for every brand or shop that wants to produce in Africa. The company is launching their own fashion brand called Sankofi in the coming months and by the end of this year they are planning to launch a whole new concept with the brand by wubben.
To give back to the community of Assin-Fosu, Akwan2fo is now giving students from the town the chance to learn how to sew by training them in the production site. By giving them a basic salary instead of charging them for education the company tries to make education available for the students that can’t afford a proper further education. To make sure the students get a high level of training in the company, the students are guided by a university graduate. Those highly educated tailors/designers are hired from all over the country and accommodated in Fosu by the company. In this way we always make sure that at least 50% of our workers finished a fashion course at the university.
Akwan2fo fashion is a perfect blend of European talent and Africa’s craftsmanship, beautiful fabrics and great environment. The decision to have our production site in Assin-Fosu has not only created jobs and learning opportunities for people within the community, it has also helped to put a small otherwise overlooked town on the map; drawing attention to the talent that lies within and also contributing to the growth of this small beautiful town.
“Fosu is a beautiful town, though a bit removed from all the dust and noice from the major cities. Assin-Fosu has something; a feel that cannot be rivaled by anything else. It is home, a place where my dreams are coming through and a place where I can make other people’s dreams come through” – William Wubben
x Jane Frances – Akwan2fo