21 of 2022

                                Newsletter No 21/3 June 2022                                 

                  

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H&M tests CO2-capturing aprons on Swedish restaurant staff

By Anna Ringstrom, Philip O’Connor and David Gregorio

Picture Andrey Bayda

Stockholm — A Stockholm restaurant crew is wearing cotton aprons that capture greenhouse gas from the air, in a pilot of a technique developed by H&M-backed researchers, as the fashion industry struggles to lower its climate impact.

The textile industry has a large carbon footprint, something fashion giants are under increasing pressure to address as shoppers become more aware of the environmental impact of clothes and as global temperatures rise.

The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) has developed an amine-containing solution with which to treat cotton — fibre, yarn or fabric — making the cotton pull CO2 gas towards it and capture it, to thereafter stabilise and store it on the surface of the textile.

HKRITA CEO Edwin Keh said in an interview his team had been inspired by techniques used in chimneys of coal-fired power plants to limit emissions.

“Many power plants have to scrub as much carbon dioxide as they can out of the air before the exhaust is released,” Keh said. “We thought ’why don’t we try to replicate that chemical process on a cotton fibre?’”.

A T-shirt is able to absorb about a third of what a tree absorbs per day, Keh said. “The [capturing] capacity isn’t super high but this is quite inexpensive to produce and quite easy, and we think there are a lot of potential applications.”

The aprons in the pilot were produced at a H&M supplier in Indonesia, using the factory’s existing equipment for the treatment, Keh said. “It is a fairly simple chemical process.”

In the pilot the aprons are heated to 30°C-40°C after use at which temperature they release the CO2 — into a greenhouse where the gas is taken up by plants.

H&M Foundation said the innovation could potentially be a game changer in the reduction of global CO2 emissions.

Projects to develop CO2 absorbing textiles are, however, at an early stage, and their potential contribution to lessening the environmental effects of the textile industry remains to seen.

Keh said the institute would now develop its technology further, and try to find other uses for it, as well as other ways to use or dispose of the captured CO2.

HKRITA, which is part-financed by the philanthropic arm of Swedish fashion retailer H&M, has developed a number of innovations aimed at making fashion more sustainable. One that has reached industrial scale use is a technique to separate cotton and polyester fibres in blend-textiles.

Reuters

Local designer duo discusses sustainability, consistency and visibility

Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane.

Mmuso Maxwell, a fashion brand based in Johannesburg, was founded six years ago by Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane. The combination of their names in the brand’s name represents their emerging aesthetics, interests, and design, finding power and amplification in their collaboration.

The duo creates highly tailored womenswear that is inspired by the juxtaposition of contemporary culture and African heritage, merged to complement the modern woman. Mmuso Maxwell has become synonymous with carefully considered and sustainable design that exudes value and quality, and as such, has recently been awarded the prestigious Woolmark Karl Lagerfeld Prize for Innovation.

The Woolmark Prize, funded by the marketing department of Australia’s more than 60,000 Merino wool growers, awards life-changing cash prizes and has been attributed with cultivating some of fashion’sbest-known designers. As a testament to the competition being one of the industry’s most defining awards, previous winners include Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld.British Vogue editor-in-chief and the Vogue European editorial director Edward Enninful were joined on the judging panel by Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci, Hermès’ Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski and Tilting the Lens founder Sinéad Burke. London-based designer Saul Nash was announced as the winner of the International Woolmark Prize, winning A$200,000 (R2.2m) for a luxury capsule of fluid-sportswear. Mmuso Maxwell won the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation and were awarded U$100,000. Their Ukholo — Faith collection explored the theatrics of deceit in South African churches, using locally-sourced merino wool for an Autumn/Winter collection. Some 200 applicants from around the world were tasked with highlighting transparency in their supply chains.

From meeting as interns under the fashion icon David Tlale, Boko and Potsane have moved from strength to strength. From dressing Beyoncé to reaching international acclaim, the sky is the limit. The modest duo, assisted by just one seamstress, have created a world-renowned and now internationally acclaimed brand through raw talent and an aspirational spirit. I spoke to the dynamic duo and was instantly enamoured with their self-effacing charm, passion and encompassing enthusiasm. Their brand has recently been propelled to a global stage, the combination of their personalities and skills are going to hold them in good stead as they join the likes of Thebe Magugu, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Rich Mnisi in trailblazing local fashion.

What is your practice?

Maxwell: We met through an internship programme with David Tlale. We were both aspiring designers — aspiring to own separate brands. However, we had similar aesthetics and we decided we might as well have one strong brand as opposed to two similar ones. After the internship, we decided to form Mmuso Maxwell.

Mmuso: We make ready-to-wear womenswear, informed by our African heritage and mixed with contemporary culture.

Tell me about you experience with Woolmark?

Maxwell: We applied almost a year ago, and at the time when we applied we had just assumed we would probably make it in two or three years from now. The Woolmark competition, even though it’s for emerging designers, it’s for slightly more established designers, so we just applied and then we forgot about it. When they called me, it was this odd number, which was a UK number, her name was Lucy and she told me that we had made it for Woolmark. I screamed in disbelief and our seamstress thought something terrible had happening because of the way I was screaming. I was like ‘no, something unbelievable just happened!’

We were one of the finalists for the prize and at face value, you think, ‘oh my goodness, this is amazing,’ but in actual fact the programme was very, very intense, but in the best way possible for your brand to grow. Our intention was to source almost everything locally and to work on this collection was quite difficult to be honest, there are not a lot of fabrics, different types of wool, to source locally. We wanted to create items that were local — from fibre to finished product. It was very difficult, any other local designers know how difficult it is to source fabrics locally. When they are handmade locally, it pushes the price up, so you can’t make everything like that. The process really pushed us.

One of the finalists said at our first meeting, when I was complaining about our lack of resources and whatnot, that “having it all is not always the best tool to be creative, your circumstances can make you creative.” I always kept that in the back of my mind, and I told him that when I met him, and he didn’t even remember saying that!

We pushed ourselves to make sure that we produce everything locally. And somehow when we went to present the collection, the craziest thing was how people thought that we were doing such a wide range of different types of using wool, when in actual fact, it was just hand woven and knitted.

Mmuso: The presentation was quite daunting because you get to meet all these people that you see from social media, these big fashion players. When we met them and the jury it was even more daunting, but then the more we talked about our collection to them, the easier it got as time went by. We were able to portray what we stand for and what we do. I think it was a great experience because we got to learn so much from the process, we grew so much.

What inspired your Ukholo collection?

Maxwell: Even before Woolmark, we were working on a collection where we were looking into the phenomenon of fake pastors, who are scamming our people because of their circumstances. They know that these people are desperate, and they promise them these things, that they must pay for in exchange for success or whatever the case may be. These pastors know very well that those people are desperate and that their circumstances are what would make them believe that someone can actually pray for you and you achieve your dreams. We wanted to dive into that and their actions, what they use to fool their followers.

One of our designs, you can’t necessarily see it unless you see it in person, we used swing-tag mock-ups to play into this idea of how everything nowadays is for sale. It was the one look that was not sourced locally, we used fabric imported from Japan.

Basically, these pastors sell hope, they sell healing, they sell prosperity, and another element of the coat is a little cross hidden inside of it, which you can only see when you come up close to the garment.From a distance, you can only see the circle, but when you are up close, you can take a look behind the smoke and mirrors.

Mmuso came up with it two years ago, and we never really delved into it before because it’s such a touchy subject.

Mmuso: We didn’t really want it to come out as costume-y, because sometimes when you do conceptual collections, they have this costume feel to it. We didn’t want to take that direction, we still wanted to create something that was modern and has a sense of fashion, but in way can also tell a story. That balance we tried to navigate, but I think we did that very well.

What are your next steps?

Maxwell: We were talking with someone recently and they mentioned just after Lukhanyo [Mdingi] had won the LVMH prize, he had said that it had made everything clearer for him in terms of vision, what he wanted to do and what is purpose was. We couldn’t put that feeling into words before, but when he said that I was like, ‘yes, that’s exactly how we feel’.

We are working on possibly presenting our Spring/Summer23 collection, either in Milan or Paris, but also having a showroom. Our focal point is to have a showroom somewhere, either in Paris or Milan because the [fashion] ecosystems are quite closed. You have to go there to present your collection, to get buyers because no buyers are going to fly down to us and then go back to Milan, or Paris. We’re definitely going to continue working with local artisans that we were working with long before Woolmark. We’ve always had an affinity for natural fabrics since the beginning.

What have been the highlights so far on the journey of Mmuso Maxwell?

Mmuso: I think it has to be obviously the Woolmark prize. We also did ARISE where we came third place, a 30-under-30 competition for African designers. Noami [Campbell] also walked the catwalk in our suit!

Maxwell:  Our brand has basically given me access to things that are dear to me, but are not related to fashion. So, for example, when we were doing that ARISE competition, Usher performed for a full hour. I am a huge fan, and for me that always stands out. We also dressed Beyoncé and were able to get tickets for Global Citizen and watching her live was amazing, I love her. Also getting someone like Naomi to work in your shows was phenomenal. In Woolmark, I think the highlight for me was meeting the other finalists. We had a small get together a day before the presentation. Meeting other young creatives with entirely different perspectives and with their own struggles, not exactly the same as yours, but also knowing things that you don’t know.

What advice would you give to your younger selves?

Maxwell: I would tell myself to believe in your dreams because I’ve always wanted to do fashion since I was young. For me it has always been that thing “Oh, will I be able to make it?’ The advice would be to be persistent and always believe in your dreams, to always move forward, to do what you have always wanted to do.

Mmuso: I would tell my younger self to keep at it, because I have always been a dreamer. I grew up in a very hard rural area in the Eastern Cape, we only got electricity in 2008. I always knew that I would be in fashion, I remember in school that I used to send Facebook messages to like Thula Sindi to intern and stuff. I always knew as a kid that I would make this happen, one way or another.   

Back to the 90’s – G-Star RAW showcases new jumpsuit capsule collection

By Nabo Mngomeni

G-Star RAW shows new jumpsuit capsule collection with aerial silk dancers

The Jumpsuit was a true G-Star icon from the brand’s start in 1989. And now with 90’s nostalgia taking over the fashion industry, the return of the one-piece is back and ever present.

The sky’s the limit.

The jumpsuit originated as an outfit for parachuters and skydivers to wear specifically for jumping from planes. G-Star RAW’s new campaign takes inspiration from this in their unique collaboration with aerial silk dancers. The silk dancers were captured high in the sky, showcasing their acrobatic art and effortless flexibility in multiple jumpsuits, made for movement.

Executed in a range of diverse fabrics, fits and colourways. Adjustable features such as expandable cuffs and elasticated waistbands are prominent elements within each suit. Paired with different denim styles, ready to wear in, make your own and style up or down.

Jumpsuit Flight Army Jumpsuit Mysterious Jumpsuit

The Spring/Summer 2022 Jumpsuits capsule collection is available in stores and on g-star.com from now onwards.

@nabilahkariem & @teddynkonde for G-Star RAW

A RAW Responsibility

Currently, G-Star RAW is recruiting tailors in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town in South Africa. The selected tailors will have the opportunity to take part in G-Star denim training at the Global HQ in Amsterdam. Here, they will be taught all about the fabric, turning them into G-Star denim experts and giving them a real insight into the product, ready to provide free jeans repairs to customers. The initiative in South Africa hopes to empower local entrepreneurs whilst expanding the lifecycle of denim to help reduce the ever-growing fashion footprint.

The Certified Tailors program is one of many responsible initiatives the brand has in place for 2022. It will officially launch in South Africa in July 2022. Entries close on the 9th of June 2022, selected tailors will be contacted on the 13th of June 2022.

To find out more about the campaign, please visit: https://www.g-star.com/en_za/certified-tailors/become-a-tailor

Pepkor interim results March 2022

Revenue for the interim period increased by 3.3% to R42.0 billion (2021: R40.7 billion), gross profit rose 6.3% to R14.8 billion (2021: R13.9 billion) and operating profit climbed 17.6% to R5.6 billion (2021: R4.8 billion). Profit attributable to owners of the parent jumped 27.6% to R3.3 billion (2021: R2.6 billion). Furthermore, headline earnings per share increased to 91.5 cents per share (2021: 71.3 cents per share).

Dividend

In line with Pepkor’s dividend policy, no dividend was declared for the interim period.

Company outlook
The group is very pleased with the solid performance for the first half of the 2022 financial year, based on a stronger second quarter and even more so when considering performance on a two- year basis, which eliminates volatility caused by COVID-19.

The operating environment remains very challenging as unemployment levels and the cost of living continue to increase. The extension of the monthly R350 COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant to March 2023, as announced in the recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) by the President, will provide much needed relief for many consumers in South Africa who need to survive on a very small budget. The increased momentum in events and industries such as tourism is very encouraging and should alleviate some of the pressure consumers face.

Higher levels of price inflation are expected for the next summer season starting in August 2022. While challenging, this operating environment motivates operations teams to develop innovative new ways to ensure that products remain affordable for consumers – thereby redefining and solidifying the group’s position in the South African discount and value sectors.

Supply chain disruption and uncertainty have continued. The group’s merchandise teams have done exceptionally well to mitigate the impact of disruption on merchandise inflows and in-store availability. While global supply chain uncertainties persist, it seems that shipping costs have stabilised and may trend downwards.

Stronger trading is expected during the second half of the year, supported by the lower base in the comparable period, which was affected by the civil unrest. Trading in April 2022 was strong across most businesses, with softer trading in May 2022.

The growth mindset embedded within the group’s culture and management continues to drive performance. In line with our strategy, plans to open more than 300 stores in the 2022 financial year remain on track.

Results webcast
A live webcast of the results presentation will be broadcast at 10:00 a.m. (SAST) on Friday, 27 May 2022.

Mr Price – trading statement

The group is presently finalising its annual financial results for the twelve months ended 2 April 2022. These will be announced on the JSE SENS on Thursday 9 June 2022. Shareholders are advised that basic earnings per share (EPS) are expected to be between 24% and 29% higher than the period 29 March 2020 to 3 April 2021 (Corresponding Period) and between 30% and 35% higher on a comparable 52- week basis (Corresponding Period constituted 53-weeks). Included in the table below is the comparison on both a 53-week and 52-week basis.

The group advises that it expects the annual results for the Period to fall within the following ranges:
Annual results presentation – 52 weeks on 53 weeks
*Basic earnings per share: 1269.2c to 1320.4c; 24.0% to 29.0%
*Headline earnings per share: 1249.4 to 1302.8; 17.0% to 22.0%

Expected annual – 52 weeks on 52 weeks
*Basic earnings per share: 1269.2c to 1320.4c; 30.0% to 35.0%
*Headline earnings per share: 1249.4c to 1302.8c; 23.0% to 28.0%

Annual results presentation
A live webcast of the interim results presentation is scheduled for 09:00 am on Thursday, 9 June 2022. This can be accessed through the following link: /www.corpcam.com/MrPrice09062022.

Most followers on Twitter for a fashion personality

Model and reality TV star Kim Kardashian West (USA, b. 1980) had 59,721,292 Twitter followers as of 23 April 2018, making her the most popular fashion personality on Twitter and the 12th most followed person on the platform overall.

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