2 of 2016

 Newsletter No. 2   5 February 2016

Brother Internationale Industriemaschinen GmbH

Press release “Award winning NEXIO”

Just before real introduction in Europe the new S7300A single needle lockstitch sewing machine has won it’s first award!

Brother launches an epoch-making product called S-7300A  accumulating all our technologies and long experience.

The most innovative point is that the S-7300A is the world’s first lock stitch sewing machine which adopts electronic feeding system directly connected with stepping motor.

S-7300A provides a perfect solution to the long-lasting sewing problems such as long remaining thread or bird nest thanks to its electric feeding system and on top of that, by expanding design possibility of finished products by changing the stitch length (max. length 7mm) on the same seam by program control.

This electronic feeding system prevents the machine from making any noise in case of sewing in reverse because the motor changes the feeding direction; a comparison between the noise of a gasoline engine car and an electric car is a good equivalent.

NEXIO, a complex word of NEXT and SOCIO, is the brand name of S-7300A  conveying our vision to create a newly valued society with our customers.

With an advanced technology and in the spirit of “Brother at your side”, we are confident that S-7300A will bring all of you to the next level of a sewing world which no one has ever experienced before.

Sew Solutions are your agents for Brother in Southern Africa. (Rabin Nagesar and Rajesh Raghunandan ex Bellstedt)

Statement on the decisions of the Competition Commission 

Proposed merger between Jacobs Capital (Pty) Ltd (Jacobs Capital) and (Gelvenor Consolidated) The Commission has approved, without conditions, the intermediate merger whereby, Jacobs Capital Jacobs Capital (Pty) Ltd intends to acquire Gelvenor Consolidated. Post-merger, Jacobs Capital will control Gelvenor Consolidated. Post-merger, Jacobs Capital will control Gelvenor Consolidated. Jacobs Capital is a private equity firm and also provides management and advisory services to companies where it has investments. Gelvenor Consolidated is a synthetic fabric manufacturer. It manufactures and sells the following products: ballistic fabrics, industrial fabrics, aeronautical fabrics and apparel fabrics.

Chris Wynne-Potts from AMS says……

With the rising costs in China , human rights issues, security concerns and labour, factory compliance transgressions, child employment  in various parts of the World—- Africa is becoming the next frontier for apparel production for the US and Europe

With the likely extension of the AGOA Bill and increasing costs, economic, political and security concerns in many other parts of the globe, Sub Saharan Africa offers a rapidly growing region for garment production and many sourcing opportunities in home decor, accessories and related products. The renewed focus on Africa was highlighted during the recent US-Africa heads of state summit.

Africa is open for business!

Letter from Jackie Carinas

I received this e-mail from Jackie Carinas and am happy to forward to Jackie any responses you might have for him…..

It is with great interest that I read your Newsletter.

I have my doubts whether my letter to you will ever reach anyone who’s got enough influence in the clothing retail sector to make a difference, but I believe it’s worth the try, even if people read it out of interest only, so here goes…

Before I get to the main point/s, let me give you some background of ourselves.

First of all, I’m Afrikaans speaking, so please pardon my use of the Queen’s language.

My wife and I own a clothing store in a small rural town in the Western Cape, and we stock almost all of the genuine brands that you mention in your newsletter, and yes, we do import some of our clothing(legally) too. When we bought the store from the previous owner during 2005, 7 people were remunerated out of the earnings of the store. It is worth mentioning that all our employees get paid well above the prescribed minimum wages.

Well, as it is with a business far from the city, my wife used to travel 200 km’s to Cape Town and back(almost weekly) to collect stock for our store. She used to stack our pick-up with boxes up to the brim of the canopy, and the stuff she couldn’t fit in, was delivered the following day by courier. Then, everything changed when the factories started to shut down…

Us retailers systemically became reliant on imported stock to stay in business, and yes, most of the clothing from abroad is definitely of a poorer quality than what we were used to, exactly as you mentioned in your newsletter. Shortly, we had to retrench 2 of our personnel, and we couldn’t afford to give our personnel the lucrative bonuses and increases they got so used to. Now, after adapting and conforming to all the measures, rules and taxes put in place by government in connection with imported clothing, we are facing a new dilemma.

The sinking Rand has caused us small retailers to search for local markets for our clothing once again, which is positive, but suppliers for small retailers are just not there. For the big retailers/stores, there are numerous factories who produce pre-ordered spec items. If you don’t buy big, they don’t want your business. One of our brand suppliers, let’s call them big “A”, closed our account, and wouldn’t supply us if we don’t order a minimum amount per season. There are currently rumours of other brands wanting to do the same. Is this job shedding or what…

My point/s is/are this:

1. The small retailers, far away from the cities and malls, are the real job creators. Compare the staff/turnover ratio of our small retailers with that of one of the big retail stores in a mall for instance. Don’t be surprised about the facts!

2. Us small retailers want to support local factories, so give us a selection of ready-made, unbranded, affordable, quality clothing in small lots, which is so sought after by our customers.

3. Protect us small retailers against suppliers who want to supply huge minimum lots only. We have a market for their product, although small. Stop the bullies…

4. The big retailers in the cities are unquestionably the money makers, but not necessarily  the job creators.

Maybe someone, somewhere, has a list of suppliers/factories who deal in small lot clothing. I’m sure we are not the only retailer who would welcome such a list.

It would be interesting to hear from other small retailers.

Thanks for reading

Ray Applegate Obituary

It is with great regret and sadness that I have to report the passing of Ray Applegate in the early hours of February 1st 2016, after a short battle with cancer.

Ray joined Coats in 2004, and fulfilled the combined role of Head of Quality and Technical Service Manager. He was definitely a character, a man of strong principles, with a well defined sense of right and wrong.  He was always insistent that things had to be undertaken correctly, and would not be swayed from his course. Whilst others were tempted to take short cuts or fudge statistics, Ray was everyone’s rock of integrity.

That the company today has well documented quality standards in all areas is largely down to Ray. He was a stickler when it came to making sure that the quality of our production did not vary from the established norms and was consistently good and reliable. He was a champion of the cause that customers always deserved to get what they paid for.

He routinely visited customers to assist with technical problems, and always seemed to manage to get to the bottom of even the most complicated of issues. He always spoke his mind, which didn’t make him a firm favourite with everyone, but most valued his candid analysis of problems and his offers of help to implement solutions.

Although originally British, he was a committed South African, and believed this country to be the best and most beautiful in the world.

He will be sorely missed by all his friends and colleagues at Coats South Africa and by those customers who regularly used his services.

He leaves behind a wife, children and grandchildren, who will miss him very much.

Peter Manns

MD Coats Southern Africa



Did you know……

Textiles and shoes make up 12% of landfill sites in the UK.

In one year, discarded clothing would fill Wembley Stadium.

232 000 people attend New York Fashion Week per year (116,000 each fashion week)


Please remember to send me your news so that we can share it with all our readers in the weekly newsletter.

Carla Finlay