Newsletter No 02 / 21 January 2022
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Leading South African Fashion School, FEDISA selects
Honoris United Universities for pan-African expansion
FEDISA strengthens Honoris’ focus in high-growth sectors in Africa such as Creative Industries to bolster student employability
Honoris United Universities, Africa’s first and largest network of private higher education institutions, today welcomes the pioneering FEDISA Fashion School, South Africa’s leading fashion and design institution, into its network. The addition of FEDISA illustrates Honoris’ continuous investment in the future of African talent by strengthening the Creative Arts, Fashion and Design vertical across the educational group.
The second largest sector after agriculture in Africa is the fashion and textile industry with an estimated market value of $31 billion1 and growing every year. Fashion offers tremendous scope for African countries to participate in regional and global integration, thus creating jobs and inclusive growth. With the continent’s rising youth population, this is increasingly pertinent to South Africa’s development given that 65% of workers in the sector are under the age of 25.
Established in 2005, FEDISA now enters its 18th year of operations and is held to strong local and international student acclaim powered by academic partners across Europe and North America (such as the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles and MoodArt in Verona, Italy) and a wealth of industry partnerships (such as The Foschini Group (TFG), Cape Union Mart (CUM), BDA London & Truworths) bolstering its exceptional graduate employment record. Aligned in purpose, Honoris and FEDISA place innovation at the core of their respective missions, preparing graduates to leapfrog obstacles to achieve economic growth and transformation for their communities.
FEDISA Fashion School offers a range of highly specialised accreditations in a holistic approach to the business of fashion, encapsulating advertising, design and marketing, with the ability to add value and expertise to the rapidly growing ecommerce sector in Africa. With a state-of-the-art campus in the heart of Cape Town, FEDISA expanded its footprint in 2020 despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the addition of a campus in Sandton, CBD and retail hub in Johannesburg, embedding the instititution as a country-wide leader. Graduates of FEDISA enjoy an advantage in both their industry exposure during study and enhanced employment opportunities directly after graduating, with notable alumni holding positions including creative directors, designers and entrepreneurs.
Commenting on the announcement, Honoris Group CEO Dr Jonathan Louw, said: “The welcoming of a trailblazing institution such as FEDISA marks an important milestone for us, strengthening our Creative Arts, Fashion and Design vertical with a world-class offering. African fashion on the global stage is a force to be reckoned with, where sustainability and innovation are powering inspiration for tomorrow’s creative leaders and entrepreneurs. Given our own focus on employability, the exceptional approach and records of FEDISA align with our mission to transform lives through relevant education for lifetime success. We anticipate an impactful year of growth and development alongside all our member institutions across the continent as we welcome FEDISA, its students, its faculty and staff into the Honoris community.”
Whilst FEDISA continues to expand its advanced Cape Town and Sandton campuses, Honoris will immediately support the institution in growing its digital and innovation capabilities in both campuses with a focus on student success. Harnessing digital tools such as 3D-printing and digital body scans will supplement a focus on blended and online capabilities, whilst ensuring that equipment within both campuses offers the highest quality learning experiences for its students. FEDISA also looks forward to welcoming new programs such as a Higher Certificate in Applied Fashion and a BA in Applied Fashion Retail, and develop further international partnerships.
Allen Leroux, Chief Executive Officer at FEDISA, added, “Joining the Honoris United Universities network creates a truly internationalized opportunity for FEDISA and all those associated with the institution. Being recognised as the leading school of fashion in Africa, speaks to the excellence of academic and creative provisioning by our incredible faculty and industry collaborators. FEDISA is now optimally positioned to make an even greater pan-African impact on fashion employability and sustainable practices for our graduates.”
As Honoris celebrates its fifth anniversary year, the announcement marks another milestone for the network in South Africa as FEDISA becomes the fourth institution in the country, alongside MANCOSA, REGENT Business School and Red & Yellow Creative School of Business. Having formed a strategic partnership with Merit University late last year, its first entry into Egypt, Honoris United Universities now comprises 15 institutions in 10 countries and 32 cities. With more than 190 partnerships with institutions and academic leaders across the globe, Honoris is Africa’s leading educational network, delivering its education for impact mission to over 61,000 students.
A season for risk-taking and the return to fashion as craft
By Cyril Naicker
Cyril Naicker is CEO at Imprint Luxury, country coordinator of Fashion Revolution SA and chief sustainability executive at Plain Tiger
The global pandemic has been laden with lessons. For one, that change is guaranteed and inevitable. Humanity was on an all-consuming treadmill when our world stood still in early 2020.
Hard lockdown’s silence was uncomfortable for many, impossible for others whose businesses folded, and devastating for those who lost jobs. Closer to home, this virus claimed lives. I’ve personally lost numerous friends, so much so I grew weary of yet another online funeral.
We’ve each, in our own way, grieved the loss of something significant over the past months – and so what I hope most is that Covid-19 has taught us the greatest lesson of all: the dire need for more kindness.
We still have no idea when this pandemic will end. Almost 24 months in, albeit exhausted, we must officially concede to a new season of taking risks. This concession is crucial for those in business because, without question, what worked in the past does not work in the present. Risk really is the new norm. Despite our heightened resilience, it’s our improved creativity in unchartered waters that’s sailing us toward a better world.
Great strides in local manufacturing
My 2017 forecast Fashionably Conscious: Made in South Africa, it’s Not Just a Movement, dissected and encouraged local manufacturing. Five years later I’m pleased to note significant growth in this sector, partly (and ironically) thanks to the global pandemic.
Swimming against the tide, leading national retailer TFG’s strategic shift to invest in sustainable local manufacturing is already paying off. According to Sactwu’s Etienne Vlok, TFG is presently the largest apparel manufacturer in South Africa with TFG Africa now sourcing upwards of 72% of its apparel onshore.
“TFG’s investment in local manufacturing confirms localisation as a viable strategy to fight unemployment. The retailer’s import replacement will significantly increase TFG’s local production, resulting in more local jobs and upskilling. Unusual for South African retailers, TFG is creating thousands of jobs within its in-house manufacturing base,” said Vlok.
Wholly impressive since just five short years ago, nearly 80% of all TFG merchandise was sourced abroad.
TFG has strategised a diversified and agile local supply chain with our government’s Department of Trade Industry and Competition (DTIC) over several years. Reducing its reliance on China and other international suppliers, this focused strategy has increased local retail brand manufacturing. The retailer’s import replacement strategy results in more local jobs and upskilling. Following the launch of three additional hubs, TFG’s Prestige plans to employ an additional 5,000 workers by 2026.
True fashion: new ideas that last
With local manufacturing top of mind, considering the environment is equally critical. Modern fashion is sadly driven by disposability. Our I-can’t-be-seen-in-this-twice attitude is draining natural resources and polluting the planet. True fashion is about new ideas that last. We ideally need this concept enforced during design – but more importantly, embraced when we go shopping.
The recent COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference placed emphasis on a better future. Beyond 2021, one can’t mention climate change without including the clothing industry. Fast fashion is poison. Our work at Fashion Revolution highlights the impact fast fashion has on the planet and the myriad people that make our clothing. The big question is, “How do we cultivate a culture of continuity?”
The answer lies in our speedy evolution to circular design and manufacture, nurturing a circular economy by considering how garments can be designed for better longevity, durability, upcycling potential or better re-integrated as inputs into the supply chain.
Covid-19 has also highlighted the value chain’s human impact. Fashion’s return to its true state can only be achieved by reconnecting with its humanity – and must no longer be about mass production meeting demand. Craft means clothing constructed with great care by those passionate about their skill. A case in point is designers like Thebe Magugu, Sindiso Khumalo and Lukhanyo Mdingi, who promote Mzansi fashion on the global stage; in my opinion, currently undercelebrated on our shores.
True craft endures. It requires sustainable systems and conscious values built into our businesses, communities, and homes. Thinking about sustainability tomorrow is no longer viable – we need to act today. Fashion as craft must become a way of life.
It’s time to engage. To risk more. In the face of Covid-19 uncertainty, all those lost lives must not be in vain. A better world can only be brought about by better people making better choices.
And when we find ourselves with our backs against the wall, we should no longer indulge our instinct to fight. We need to match opposition and adversity with sustainable human values – courageous traits like kindness, compassion, and empathy. In this new season of risk taking, these are the only real solutions to the insurmountable. #BizTrends2022
Polish fashion group LPP joins hands with Cotton made in Africa
LPP, a Polish fashion company, has partnered with Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), launching yet another year of growth for the international standard for sustainable cotton. By joining CmiA, LPP, whose brands include Reserved, Cropp. House, Mohito, and Sinsay, is making a commitment to sustainable cotton cultivation and people in cotton-growing countries.
The first CmiA-labelled products will come to market before the end of 2022.
With this new partnership, the Polish fashion company, LPP, is making a valuable contribution to environmental protection and is supporting African small-scale farmers and their families. The globally active fashion company’s contractually agreed purchase volume of up to 60 million items per year supports its strategic sustainability goals, which include significantly increasing the percentage of more environmentally friendly products and implementing good production standards for a sustainable textile industry, the company said in a press release.
For each CmiA-labelled textile item, LPP pays a licensing fee to the Aid by Trade Foundation, Cotton made in Africa’s parent organisation. Licensing revenue is then reinvested in CmiA’s activities in Africa, which focus on providing small-scale farmers with training in sustainable cultivation methods and in business fundamentals, ultimately enabling them to maintain soil fertility and to protect their plants with natural materials. In addition, the CmiA standard prohibits the use of genetically modified seeds as well as the logging of primary forests. Only rainwater is used for irrigation.
According to the latest study results, CmiA cotton has a significantly smaller ecological footprint while also helping to improve living conditions for small-scale farming families through training provided by CmiA. There are currently around one million small-scale farmers growing CmiA-verified cotton in ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, making up around 30 percent of African cotton production. Consumers can identify these products by means of a Cotton made in Africa label. The products will come to market this summer. “We are thrilled to have won our first Polish partner in LPP and to be working with them to create a sustainable basis for their product portfolio through CmiA,” Ti
Did you know……..
The most talked about Oscars dresses of all time
Cindy Crawford, 1991
The supermodel attended the 63rd Academy Awards with new boyfriend Richard Gere in tow. The plunging sheath by Versace still tops best-dressed lists more than two decades later.
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