Newsletter No 30 / 13 August 2021
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Pepkor on track to restore 70% of looted stores by October
After having approximately 10% of its stores damaged during last month’s riots, Pepkor says it expects to have more than 350 of the more than 500 looted stores up and running by the end of September.
Pepkor, which owns retail brands including Pep, Ackermans and the JD Group, has concentrated its efforts on rebuilding stores in the affected areas, and says it’s “proud to be part of these efforts where the mutual support and resilience of South Africans are so well exhibited”.
Leon Lourens, CEO from Pepkor, comments, “The initial assessment phase has been completed and we are working with multiple suppliers to secure the necessary stock, equipment, IT infrastructure and other materials to reopen our stores. During a normal year we open 300 new stores. Now, added to our standard new store opening schedule, we are reopening more than 350 stores in approximately two months with the remainder of the stores to be opened before December.
“The reopening of the remaining stores will be delayed due to circumstances outside our control such as structural damages to the properties.”
He adds, “The teams in our operating companies are working around the clock to make this happen as quickly as possible. Our primary objective is to get back to serving the customers in these communities and making their lives easier and better.”
The Pepkor supply chain is again fully operational and deliveries to the retail group’s footprint of more than 5,000 stores are back to norm
Job security, emergency relief
As part of Pepkor’s recovery efforts, the group says it’s doing its best to provide job security and continue salary payments to the thousands of employees who were impacted. “We were able to get emergency relief to our employees within one week of the unrest. This included delivery of 5,667 food parcels and I am extremely grateful that we have the means to assist our loyal employees so that they can provide for their families,” says Lourens.
“As a business whose key priority is to serve their millions of loyal customers and make a positive difference in their lives, we accept our responsibility towards the local communities and more than R3,5m has been donated to support affected employees and surrounding communities, including a donation of 70 tonnes of maize meal,” he adds.
The group has continued to collaborate with the Do More Foundation in KwaZulu-Natal which focuses on providing meals to the children and vulnerable people of this region. Customers can also contribute to the group’s food relief efforts by donating in-store at the tills.
“It is our courageous, agile and resilient teams who have played a fundamental role in our recovery and rebuilding process during this challenging time. The long hours and commitment these individuals have shown demonstrates the calibre of our people and the healthy culture of our business,” says Lourens. Bizcommunity
Zero contamination to the environment from Jeanologia
Garment Finishing Supplies is extremely proud and privileged to be the agent for Jeanologia for Southern Africa for the past six years.
Jeanologia was started in 1994 in Spain and 27 years later are a global company.
Today Jeanologia leads the transformation of the garment and textile industries with technologies such as laser, ozone and e-Flow which enhance productivity, reduce water, chemical and energy consumption and eliminate damaging emissions and waste, guaranteeing zero contamination to the environment.
We all have our part to ‘play’ for the future of our planet, not only for us but for generations to come.
Jeanologia’s mission to create an ethical, sustainable and eco-efficient textile and apparel industry, is exactly what they are achieving worldwide.
GFS has been involved in the denim washing industry since 1996 and have witnessed the destruction of the environment with cutting down of trees to use as fuel for the boilers, to water contamination by discharging wash water stained by indigo dye into the rivers and water systems, using potassium permanganate to spray denims, causing health problems to workers. This is still happening today even with environmental awareness advertising.
There are consumer groups lobbying for ‘cleaner and greener’ denim processing, but the average consumer of a pair of denim jeans does not know the impact on the environment of the pair of jeans they purchase.
For concerned citizens and wearers of denim garments we have to look to the retailers to ethically and responsibly source garments with ‘Low Environmental Impact’. It is our duty to the consumers, to give them a denim garment that has not harmed our environment.
Garment Finishing Supplies with Jeanologia are able to offer a solution and accreditation to denim processors when using Laser, Ozone and eFlow technology. This is EIM, an Environment Impact Measurement tool used with Jeanologia systems to help improve the manufacturers impact on the environment. That is technology for a green ‘Now’ not the future.
In the past four years, Garment Finishing Supplies has been fortunate to partner with local denim processors, who understand the environmental impact of denim washing and have invested substantially in Jeanologia technologies to give South Africa a chance for a ‘Greener’ future.
For enquiries on how you can improve your impact on the environment for denim and cotton rich garments contact Noelene Cole. firstname.lastname@example.org
SACTWU secures 5.9% wage hike for South Africa’s home textiles sector
The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) affiliated with Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), has secured a 5.9 per cent wage hike for the home textiles sub-sector of the country, with effect from July 1, 2021, the day after the expiry of the last wage agreement. The negotiations were finalised in late July this year.
The new collective agreement was concluded under the auspices of the National Textile Bargaining Council (NTBC) with employers represented by the South African Home Textiles Manufacturers Employers’ Organisation, SACTWU said in a media release.
The negotiations were conducted virtually, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The collective agreement is backdated to July 1, 2021 and is effective for a 12-month period until June 30, 2022.
In addition, the collective agreement contains a new industry provision which guarantees full payment by the employer for the first 2 hours in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as tornados, load shedding, fires, storms, floods and water cuts.
Fresh negotiations for this textile sub-sector will be conducted early next year, for new wage increases to become effective from July 1, 2022, when the current agreement expires.
SACTWU secures 5.5% wage hike for South African nonwoven sector
The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), affiliated with Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), has settled its 2021-2022 wage negotiations in the nonwoven textile sub-sector to secure a 5.5 per cent wage hike for its members. The backdated agreement is effective for a 12-month period until June 30, 2022.
The new collective agreement was concluded under the auspices of the National Textile Bargaining Council with employers represented by the National Textile Manufacturers’ Association (NTMA), SACTWU said in a press release.
The agreement also includes improvement in a long service award, which increases from R1 per week for each year of continuous service to R1.50 per week for each completed year of continuous service. This also came into effect from July 1, 2021.
SACTWU has also reached an agreement with its employer counterparts that all shop stewards of the trade union shall be granted reasonable access to Information & Communication Technology (ICT) facilities in the workplace for their trade union communication activities. This is expected to facilitate better execution of their trade union duties during COVID-19. F2F
Sustainable textile innovations that will change the fashion industry
Using lotus fabrics and textiles may sound exotic to western ears, but in countries like Thailand and Myanmar, for example, lotus fibers have been used for special garments for centuries. Not surprisingly because the manufacturing process produces a luxurious fabric that feels like a mixture of silk and raw linen that is also stain-resistant, light weight, soft, silky and extremely breathable. ‘What’s not to love?’ one may ask again. In this case, it is the complicated and lengthy manufacturing process that is the biggest hurdle when using lotus stems.
After harvesting the lotus stems, they are cut open at the end to extract the long, thin fibers. This must be done within three days of harvesting to achieve optimal results. The fibres thus obtained are washed and hung to dry before hand-woven on traditional looms. The quality of the lotus fabric is so superior that there have been attempts at commercial use; Jaipur-based Hero’s Fashion Pvt Ltd from India, for example, has already found many followers with its white NoMark Lotus shirt.
It remains to be seen how commercially viable and suitable for large scale production each of the six sustainable fibres – hemp, nettles, coffee, pineapples, banana and lotus – portrayed here is. Specifically hemp, nettles and coffee have huge potential for the mass market, whereas fabrics made out of lotus stems and pineapple should be interesting for the luxury market.
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