15 of 2020

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 Newsletter 15 / 30 April 2020

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Pepkor donates over R2m towards Covid-19 relief

Pepkor’s Pepclo factory will manufacture approximately 50,000 cloth masks per day.

South African retailer Pepkor is supporting the fight against Covid-19 through a number of initiatives, including donating a portion of senior leadership’s salaries to relief efforts and having its clothing manufacturing division produce face masks and surgical gowns.

Pepkor, which owns Pep, Ackermans, Tekkie Town and John Craig, has the largest retail store footprint in southern Africa with more than 5,400 stores operating across 11 African countries.

R2m towards Solidarity Fund

“Pepkor realises the responsibility of business to contribute to the efforts to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on South Africa and its citizens. We are fortunate to have a wide footprint that allows us to reach our many consumers who have loyally supported our brands over many years, and are therefore able to contribute to various causes throughout the country,” says Leon Lourens, CEO of Pepkor.

“The Pepkor executive and non-executive board members have agreed to make a remuneration sacrifice of 30% over a period of three months which together with the salary sacrifice of the Pepkor executive committee enables Pepkor to make a donation of R2m to the Solidarity Fund. Additionally, the rest of the proceeds from this will be used to donate approximately 100,000 meals through other feeding schemes which distribute to the needy and hungry throughout South Africa.”

This is in line with President Ramaphosa’s call for unified action and to support the fight against the pandemic. “The business leaders of South Africa have to step up and take the lead to help protect the needy from the devastating impact of Covid-19. So many people in South Africa are suffering now and we trust that this contribution will make a difference in the lives of those who need it most,” Lourens said.

50,000 face masks produced per day

Pepkor’s Parow-based clothing factory, Pepclo, has started manufacturing cloth face masks and surgical gowns in reaction to the significant increase in demand. The factory expects to make approximately 50,000 cloth masks per day and can scale this up significantly should the current demand remain. The masks are washable and meet government specifications with a back envelope in which replaceable filters can be secured.

“We will donate 50,000 masks to government and Pepkor will also manufacture and supply its own employees with masks for personal and work use. The health and safety of our manufacturing staff is a major focus during this time and strict safety and hygiene guidelines will be followed in the factory to ensure their safety,” Lourens said.

Pepclo will start manufacturing protective surgical gowns for hospital staff, once government has confirmed fabric specifications and Pepkor has procured these materials. Bizcommunity

Proudly SA COVID19 non-medical masks marketplace portal goes live

In an initiative designed to assist South Africans to source locally made fabric face masks and to enable the country’s clothing and textile sector to retain jobs, a dedicated marketplace portal goes live today on the Proudly South African website.

Proudly SA has been working on the site over the past week. Following the President’s announcement last night, 23 April, that all passengers travelling on public transport will be required to wear a mask and that it is recommended that everyone else wear a non-medical mask outside their homes, it is imperative that reliable sources of locally made masks are made easily available.

The concept of the portal arose from discussions with the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and The Manufacturing Circle around steps that could be taken to align initiatives underway in the clothing and textile manufacturing industry with the needs of the public and businesses. These include the ground-breaking collective agreement at the clothing bargaining council to galvanize the industry to produce more PPE items.

All companies listed on the site have confirmed with the clothing bargaining council that they are genuine manufacturers producing locally made fabric masks, supporting local jobs and operating under conditions that promote the health and safety of workers, amongst other things.

In order to help consumers select masks, the portal also provides a link to fabric mask guidelines published by the DTIC.

The site links corporate buyers with producers of masks. It is hoped that companies who are currently using or issuing medical grade masks to workers will consider making them available to services on the frontline fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and purchase these alternative, approved masks for their workers.

The site displays the details of the manufacturer, pictures of the masks, the company’s production capacity per week and unit costs. It advances local manufacturing and jobs over imports and provides for the consumer interest with price as well as product transparency. Any company not complying with these requirements and others will be removed from the site. All manufacturers are required to register before they appear on the site.

Said Proudly SA CEO, Eustace Mashimbye, ‘This initiative is an effort to support a sector of our economy that is able to meet the current pressing demand for face masks which we have been called on to wear in order to support the government’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. It is imperative that we support our local businesses, who have the capacity to produce sufficient masks to meet the country’s needs. We call on all corporates and retailers to use the portal to source their masks and to liberate any medical grade stock back to essential services.’

Corporate buyers/consumers can visit    https://www.proudlysa.co.za/covid_19/covid_19.php#

while manufacturers wishing to register on the portal can email their interest to bongani@proudlysa.co.za

NAIA, The new Fibre from Eastman

At the latest Première Vision trade fair in Paris, Eastman – the manufacturer of cellulose filament yarn from sustainable resources – announced the arrival of the new version of its iconic fibre Naia. Here’s the story.

Boasting an inherent softness, these blended yarn fibres are also renowned for drying very quickly and reducing the pilling effect found with certain natural materials. They can also be combined with other ecological fibres such as Lyocell, modal and recycled polyester, making it possible to produce sustainable fabrics and clothing perfectly suited to everyday use that meet the needs of manufacturers all over the world. Three of our suppliers – Almodo, Italmod and Barutçu – have chosen to use them.

Fibres that champion sustainable fashion

In addition, Naia fibres are responsibly sourced, harvesting their raw materials from sustainably managed pine and eucalyptus forests and plantations. The textile firm’s entire forestry supply chain complies with the Forest Stewardship Council’s standards. Eastman and its suppliers have also received traceability chain certification from the FSC® (C140711) and/or PEFC™. Finally, produced using a safe closed loop process in which the solvents are recycled and reused, Naia fibres are the product of optimised manufacture with a low environmental impact, all the more so as they are biodegradable in freshwater and soil.

Today, Naia fibre has been able to take a prominent place in the fashion sector, for example with the eco-responsible brand Balzac Paris and their collection produced with this same fibre.

Did you know……..

For a time, South Korea had actual Fashion Police. During the 1970s, police would measure the length of women’s miniskirts; if they were too short, women could be fined or arrested.

In Europe, women’s dresses became heavier and more ornate through the 1800s. By 1860, skirts were so wide that fashionably dressed women could no longer fit through doorways. Dresses could feature more than 70 yards of fabric ruffles. In the last decades of that century, all that girth was pushed to the back in the form of a bustle.

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