13 of 2017


Newsletter No.13    13 April  2017

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Source Africa

Denim through the seasons

Like the classic black dress and white tee, a pair of denim jeans is seen as a wardrobe staple. Chances are high that you recycle denim season after season for many different looks – in fact, you’re very likely to be wearing a denim item right now.

In 1969, a writer for African Fabrics magazine declared denim as “one of the world’s oldest fabrics, yet it remains eternally young.” Donna McPherson, buying manager at value retailer Ackermans, agrees.

“Denim’s popularity is due to its timeless appeal and versatility – we see it reinvented season after season. Unlike other fabrics such as corduroy or linen which go in and out of fashion, we never seem to tire of denim.”


Donna shares a few fun facts about this eternally popular fabric.

  1. When did denim first become popular?

    Denim first become popular for casual wear in the 1950s. Teenagers, rebelling against the more conservative generation of their parents, started to include denim in their everyday wear. It wasn’t long before designers began to play around with different styles.

  2. Style through the eras

    The late 60s saw ‘bell bottoms’ come into fashion, followed by the ‘punk’ look of the 70s where denim featured rip and patch detail. The early 2000s saw the rise of ‘skinny jeans’, with this sleeker aesthetic popular among teens all the way up to those in their 30s.

  3. The evolution of colour

Denim’s most popular colour is blue. The fabric used to be dyed using natural indigo from the plant Indigofera tinctoria, but is now coloured using synthetic dyes.

Denim in bright or sorbet/candy shades became fashionable in the ’80s. Almost a decade ago, denim in multiple hues made another comeback and has since evolved into a fashion staple.


Led by Europe and Miami, in summer 2016 we started to see shaded denim raise its head again, this time in washed neon tones.

Even with the ongoing popularity of coloured denims, many people are still most comfortable in shades of indigo, and this remains the most purchased.

  1. Dress it up or dress it down

    Denim is versatile and can be worn for just about any occasion. Dress skinny jeans up by pairing it with a beautiful blouse, well-fitted blazer and stilettos, or dress it down by wearing a pair of boyfriend jeans with your favourite sneakers and a tee.

  2. Wear and tear

    Not only is denim versatile, the cotton twill material is also incredibly durable – making it perfect for adults and active kids. When looked after properly, denim can last for many seasons to come.

    Says Donna, “Denim is an essential in every wardrobe – it’s a fabric that lends itself to multiple interpretation and re-imagination, and truly deserves its ‘classic’ status.”

South Africa disbursed R3.1billion for textiles

South African government approved R4.9 billion and disbursed more than R3.1 billion in its clothing and textiles sector to create and save jobs till the last financial year through the department of trade and industry. The funds were disbursed through the Production Incentives Programme within the Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme (CTCP).

This was stated by minister of trade and industry Dr Rob Davies at the first clothing manufacturing industry sector summit hosted in Durban by the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry (NBCCMI).

According to Davies, a number of companies who qualified and drew from both the programmes were able to save 81,252 jobs and create 9,672 additional jobs. The net new jobs grew by 4,785 till the last financial year from the inception of the CTCP.

This indicated that these were significantly labour-absorbing sectors and the government needed to create more opportunities in these to keep them sustainable, Davies noted.

“The issue of rebates in the clothing and textile sector is still a burning issue within the industry, and part of the government’s plan is still to tighten control of imports and the raising of tariffs to the maximum boundary like we did in the beginning when we were revamping the whole industry. The whole value chain must still be involved in the sector going forward,” said Davies.

The minister added that localisation in every sector would no longer be an option. Once designation had been translated into a practice note by the national treasury, it would be an obligation that public entities buy locally produced goods, he said.

“Whatever is needed to be done to protect the industry, it must be done, but it should be in the interest of industry development and to improve local supplier base. We want to see consequences for those who do not want to implement localisation and empowerment,” he said and urged delegates to start a dialogue with retailers and manufacturers around local production and not abandon the issues of empowerment and transformation.

First African-Asian B2B meeting on cotton trade in Bangladesh

The International Islamic Trade Financing Corporation (ITFC) has organised its first B2B meeting between African cotton suppliers and Bangladesh cotton importers, as part of its Cotton Development and Partnership Programme.

ITFC is recognised as the leading trade financier for cotton in West Africa and it is mandated to facilitate and promote intra-trade among and assist them in developing the competitiveness of their strategic products.

Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Minister of Finance of Bangladesh and chairman of the IDB Board of governors and Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC inaugurated the event. West African cotton producers, the African Cotton Association, the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, the Bangladesh Cotton Association and Bengali Spinning/Textile Mills attended.

The meeting supports the Bangladeshi textile industry, which is the source of employment and export earnings for the Bangladeshi economy. ITFC was able to bridge between the Asian countries, specifically Bangladesh and Indonesia, to reach out and develop new business partnerships with African cotton suppliers.

Sonbol expressed his thanks to the President of African Cotton Association, Baba Berthe and CEO representatives of West African Cotton Ginning companies for being part of this B2B meeting. “ITFC is very thankful to its strategic partners for co-hosting this important business development event for member countries of Organization of Islamic Conference’s cotton industry. ITFC, as the trade finance and trade development arm of the IDB Group, brings businessmen together from its member countries and provide them with the platform as such today to develop new business partnership to benefit from direct trade linkages between cotton exporting countries and Bangladeshi textile industry.”

Minister Muhith expressed his confidence in the impact of this meeting to the Bangladeshi’s to the textile and garment industry, which is the backbone of the Bangladeshi economy and stimulator of its economic growth. “This meeting opened doors to our cotton importers to build new opportunities with the African suppliers. With the current challenging economic environment and the increasing competition, ITFC had given us the chance to reach new destinations.”

Calik Cotton sponsored the meeting as the event’s strategic partner. It supplies cotton of different origins, grown both in Turkey and abroad, and serves major local and international textile industrialists. The event served as a platform for networking and business partnerships and provided an opportunity for discussing ideas, industry trends and market updates.

Hani held one-to-one meetings with Minister Muhith, the Minister of Finance, Fazle Kabir, governor and chairman of the Board, Bangladesh Bank and Nasrul Hamid, State Minister, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. The meetings focused on the longstanding and strategic partnership between ITFC and the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh, especially in supporting Bangladesh’s energy sector in addition to the opportunities in supporting the agricultural sector.

Did you know….

Lacoste’s little embroidered crocodile was the first -ever designer logo. He created and manufactured it in 1933.

Prior to the 19th century, designers used dolls to showcase their designs instead of models

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