15 of 2023

Newsletter No 15/21 April 2023                              


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S Africa needs urgent measures to resolve logistics issues: President


  • South Africa needs urgent measures to resolve the logistics backlog that continues to undermine economic growth, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently told chief executives from key export sectors in a virtual interaction.
  • The interaction followed a meeting he had with top executives of rail, port and pipeline company Transnet to discuss logistics challenges.

South Africa needs urgent measures to resolve the logistics backlog that continues to undermine economic growth, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently told chief executives from key export sectors.

The president hosted a virtual meeting with executives from mining and minerals, agriculture, forestry, automotive and freight forwarding industry sectors, which represent the country’s largest exporters reliant on the road, rail and ports infrastructure.

The interaction followed a meeting the president had with top executives of Johannesburg-based rail, port and pipeline company Transnet in Pretoria on March 28 that discussed challenges facing the country’s logistics system, including the declining performance of the freight rail network.

President Ramaphosa directed Transnet to swiftly implement reforms to turn around the crisis in the country’s logistics system.

He welcomed proposals presented during the virtual interaction to improve the state of domestic rail and ports, an official release said.

In the coming weeks, the government will announce a set of measures to add impetus to the work under way to improve rail and port efficiency.  F2F

Country Road’s stylish new men’s jeans have sterling eco credentials

The brand has partnered with Saitex, a manufacturer that’s revolutionising the way denim is made to drive positive environmental and social change

Country Road’s new men’s jeans are crafted from Saitex denim, which is manufactured in a way that reduces energy use, water consumption and the production of waste.
Image: Woolworths

Over two years in the making, Country Road’s new range of men’s denims has dropped in stores — and it’s revolutionary from a sustainable fashion perspective.

From the heavier weight of the fabric to the indigo colour that lends a richness of tone to every pair, the brand has worked hard to perfect these jeans, which are available in a choice of washes (Dark Indigo, Mid Blue and Rich Raw) and styles (Standard, Slim and Skinny).

It’s not just their flattering fit that gives these denims a feel-good factor — it’s the fact that they’ve been created with the future in mind.

In crafting these jeans, Country Road was “determined to find and work with one of the most innovative denim mills in the world, [one] that’s committed to driving positive environmental and social change,” says Chris Vogelpoel, the brand’s head of design for menswear.

That’s why it’s partnered with Saitex, a Vietnam-based manufacturer that’s harnessing innovation to address concerns about energy use, water consumption and waste in the denim production process.

Here’s how:

Fabric first

Country Road’s men’s jeans are made from 99% cotton with 1% elastane for a hint of stretch, which gives them that comfortable “worn in” feel.

The raw cotton is sourced from farms that aim to increase soil health, encourage biodiversity and improve water management.

Energy solutions

As part of its commitment to conserve energy, Saitex has 15,000 solar panels on the roof of its mill that help to power the facility.

In addition, the sewing factory is Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. This internationally recognised certification is awarded to buildings that represent sustainability excellence in architecture in that they’re designed to reduce carbon emissions, the use of energy and water, and the production of waste.

The smart system behind the dyeing process 

Saitex uses Smart-Indigo dyeing technology to give its denim those rich indigo tones, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions and the use of energy and harmful chemicals in the dyeing process.

From wastewater to a valuable resource 

After being dyed, Saitex denim is washed using a closed-loop system that recycles about 98% of the water through an on-site treatment plant. By recycling wastewater in-house, the manufacturer is able to reduce the need for fresh water in the washing process.

Working to reduce chemical use

Saitex was the first denim laundry in the world to become a bluesign system partner. The globally recognised bluesign system assesses facilities in the textile industry with the aim of reducing the use of harmful substances and carbon dioxide emissions, while improving water and energy consumption.

Taking drying back to basics

After the jeans have been washed, they need to be dried. Rather than relying solely on tumble drying, 80% of the drying process is “old school” at Saitex. To conserve energy, the jeans are hung from the ceiling of the wash facility to air dry, a process which can take up to three hours for each pair.

Turning textile waste into beautiful homeware  

Recognising the value of fabric waste, Saitex has repurposed denim offcuts and seconds to create a new material called Stelapop. Made with 65% recycled denim, Stelapop can be used to produce homeware, furniture and other items traditionally fashioned from wood or plastic.

Beyond Saitex’s eco credentials, another reason Country Road chose to work with the manufacturer is because of its training programme, Rekut, which is helping to create pathways into the fashion industry for marginalised groups and people with disabilities.

It’s partnerships such as this one that highlight Country Road’s commitment to driving positive change, so you can feel proud of every quality product you purchase from the brand.  

Get free online education and learnerships with ellesse SA

For years, the Blue Falcon Group has been committed to empowering customers by bringing top international brands at competitive prices. This year the group through its chains, Studio 88, Side Step, and Skipper Bar – offers customers free access to over 280 online courses, from soft skills to advanced accredited educational skills.

Customers who purchase any pair of ellesse Monza sneakers at Studio 88, Side Step, or Skipper Bar get free access to an online education portal and stand a chance of winning one of 20 Learnerships. With each pair of Monza purchased, the customer receives a unique QR Code that gives them access to accredited courses. Customers who register and successfully complete their course/s will automatically be in line to win one of 20 learnerships through the SpecCon Learnership programme.

“We have always stood proud in celebrating street culture and empowering our customers to do more and be more while staying true to who they are. This year we are investing in our customers in a unique way.” Says Ryno du Plessis, Group Head of Marketing at The Blue Falcon Group. “South Africa’s youth continue to bear the burden of unemployment. As a business that stands as a symbol of culture and community, we aim to play our part in transforming our society and moving our communities towards self-sufficiency.” He adds.

The online learning platform allows users to learn from anywhere at any time. With this platform, the user gets access to any course of their choice and studies anywhere without affecting their schedule. Top performers across courses will be selected at the discretion of management to complete learnerships of their choice.

“Empowering our customers has always been our biggest commitment. We do this through offering the best brands at competitive prices. And with this campaign, we are able to expand on this commitment by offering much-needed life skills and work experience opportunities that will equip our communities for the employment world.” du Plessis concludes. Follow this link to see the Terms and Conditions of this campaign.

About The Blue Falcon Group

The Blue Falcon Trading (Pty) LTD is one of Southern Africa’s leading fashion brand groups. This one-stop fashion group has seven chains across South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia. These chains include, Studio 88, Side Step, Skipper Bar, ellesse, DMD, John Craig, Aeronautica Millitare, to name a few. The Blue Falcon Trading (Pty) LTD was acquired by the Mr Price Group in 2022.

The group offers top international brands like ellesse, adidas, Nike, Puma, Levi’s, Guess, Vans, Converse, Superga, New Balance, and The North Face, to name a few; at competitive prices.

Rex True interim results December 2022

Revenue for the interim period went up 49.4% to R470.8 million (R315.2 million) whilst operating profit jumped 164.6% to R103.2 million (R39.0 million). Profit attributable to equity holders from continuing operations more than doubled to R58.4 million (R24.8 million). In addition, headline earnings per share multiplied to 270.8cps (126.0cps).

Company outlook
The current economic outlook presents both challenges and opportunities. The issues facing the economy, including high inflation and interest rates, a rising cost of living, an energy crisis, and low economic growth forecasts, will require careful navigation in the coming months. Managing risks and sustaining profitability remain key elements of the company’s strategy in this volatile climate.

The group is seeking to ensure that operating segments have resilient financials and a competitive advantage in their respective industries. In response to the widespread energy crisis, the group is investing in alternative energy sources in order to reduce the current and future adverse impact on operations and profitability.

Notwithstanding these challenges, we remain positive, and shall continue to utilise our skills and expertise to optimise the current portfolio of businesses and actively seek opportunities to diversify the group. In doing so, the company can position itself for long-term success.

There are 40 Fashion Weeks and 100 official events. The five most prominent Fashion Weeks are held in the fashion capitals of the world: Milan, New York, Berlin, London, and Paris. New York starts off the international circuit with its Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.


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