16 of 2019

           Newsletter No. 16                                                     3 May 2019


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H&M New store openings confirm commitment to SA economy & ongoing sustainability

Despite a subdued outlook for the South African retail sector in 2019, global fashion retailer H&M has firmly underlined its ongoing commitment to the local retail market with the announcement of three new store openings, this along with several local partnerships placing strong emphasis on the brand’s ongoing sustainability work.

The Swedish clothing retailer recently opened its first Port Elizabeth store, at Walmer Park shopping centre on 28 March, which will be followed by its first store opening in Bloemfontein’s Loch Logan Waterfront on 11 April. Further expansion includes an H&M HOME extension to its existing flagship store in Durban’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping whilst, later in the year, the international retail brand will open another store in Johannesburg at Fourways Mall.

With the three new stores trading, H&M’s local workforce will increase from approximately 800 to over 900 employees across 26 South African stores, its distribution centre and offices around the country.

“H&M is dedicated to investing in the local economy through continuous job creation,” says Oldouz Mirzaie‚ H&M Country Manager for South Africa. “In addition to our expansion plans, we’re working on a very exciting designer collaboration with a South African fashion designer and can’t wait to share more information in the next few weeks. We will also soon start testing production in South Africa and have employed a supply chain specialist into our SA organisation to drive this project forward with the support of SACTWU, EDD and the IDC.”

“Each new market H&M enters brings its own set of opportunities and challenges. We’ve learnt that understanding our customers must be done even more actively; listening to what they tell us and addressing their wishes and concerns in ways that are meaningful,” says Mirzaie. “We know that as a global brand, we carry a responsibility to not only be aware of, but to be attuned to racial and cultural sensitivities. We’re confident that we’re putting the right strategies in place to make a real and sustainable difference and to promote inclusivity and diversity within our company and hopefully within the fashion industry.”

Since 2015 H&M has supported the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and will continue to do so in 2019. Further relationships with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Anti-Racism Network of SA and the SA Human Rights Commission, amongst others, have been formed. The focus is on building partnerships that promote sustainability by leading change together and demonstrating H&M’s commitment to local communities.

“Consumers worldwide are increasingly looking for products and brands that tell a responsible story and serve a more sustainable purpose. At H&M, we welcome this demand and strongly believe that our business concept of offering ‘fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way’ gives us this competitive advantage and our customers the best fashion deal,” concludes Mirzaie.  African Retail

Iranian firm gets Ugandan president’s land for sericulture

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has offered part of his Kisozi farm in Maddu sub-county to an Iranian investor to promote silk production. The Shs 18.5-billion project by the Iran Agro Industrial Group will cover 1,000 hectares and produce over 10,000 metric tonnes of silk that will be exported to Iranl, according to group chairman Seyed Mohammad Ali.

Speaking at the official commissioning of the project, Uganada’s minister for agriculture, animal industry and fisheries Vicent Ssempija said the government plans to give out more land to foreign investors who are interested in silk production, according to a report on the website of a top English radio station in the country..

Farmers of silk are to receive some technical training after the Private Sector Foundation Uganda launched an experimental station where some skills will be taught.

Meanwhile, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, will train silk farmers at a centre in the Ankole Western University campus under the Skills Development Facility (SDF), a government project funded by the World Bank.

A grant of Shs 764 million has been sanctioned to Ankole Western University to strengthen research in bivoltine sericulture and silk industry development in western Uganda, according to a statement from the foundation. F2F

Nigerian Government, Isalamic Bank sign $523,823 funding pact

The Nigerian Government recently signed in Marrakesh an agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group for a $523,823 technical assistance grant for capacity building and logistics upgrade of the Hajj Commission and for improving the cotton, textile and garment value chain in the country. The 44th annual meeting of the IsDB was held in Morocco.

The agreement was signed by Nigerian finance minister Zainab Ahmed and IsDB Group president Bandar M H Hajjar, according to Nigerian media reports.

Founded in 1973 by the finance ministers at the first Organisation of the Islamic Conference with the support of the then king of Saudi Arabia, IsDB is a multilateral development financing institution located in Jeddah.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria will get $243,823, while the ministry of industry, trade and investment will receive $280,000, Ahmed said.

Lanificio Subalpino”s winter tie dye: The new trend to anticipate

What if tie dye weren’t reserved solely for spring/summer collections? This typically countercultural dye effect is putting a spin on winter looks to give a fresh aesthetic, blending an enhanced natural effect with classic influences with a twist.

From Summer Cotton Fabrics…

The preserve of bohemian and underground wardrobes since the early sixties, tie dye (or dip dye) has continued to become gentrified under the pen of designers in search of off-beat influences. Just this year, we spotted it at disruptive Marine Serre, authentic Stella McCartney and the bold Proenza-Schouler duo.

Having become an enthusiastic regular at the spring/summer shows, the hippy communities’ symbolic print is now making an appearance in the winter collections, seriously rivalling traditional tartans and jacquards. At least, this is what the AW20-21 TEXTILES study from our designers reveals, as well as the AW20-21 Menswear Book. – “RAGS” Theme (pages 37 and 39) where we find the Tie & Dye fabrics of the manufacturer LANIFICIO SUBALPINO, declined in various colors.

….To cosy chunky knits

Given the streetwear influence, tie dye will be appearing from next winter on materials clearly designed to keep out the winter chill, such as velvet, wool jerseys and angora.

Knits, whether intended for clothing or upholstery, now feature dyes with a craftsmanship feel, creating colour fusions and striking optical effects. Like the spray of an aerosol used for graffiti, the brushed or washed finish of a basket weave wool cloth offers tie dye a new identity at the frontiers of smart casual. Promostyl

Did you know……..

Although there are more female fashion magazines in circulation today, France’s first fashion magazine was aimed at men in 1678.

The Ancient Egyptians used perfume in religious rituals as well as to make them smell nice

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