32 of 2017


Newsletter No.32   25 August 2017

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China Premium Tex to take place alongside ATF Trade Exhibition, 21 – 23 November 2016, CTICC, Cape Town

China Premium Tex will once again take place alongside the ATF Trade Exhibition this year. Says CCPIT TEX, ‘China Premium Tex aims to bring key industry decision makers and manufacturers together under one roof to promote quality products from China, discuss investment opportunities in the region and to encourage business opportunities between South Africa and China. The Chinese textile, clothing and footwear industries are gradually moving up the value chain by industrial upgrading and restructuring. We also encourage and support Chinese companies to invest in South Africa’. ATF and China Premium Tex will host a vast array of products and services from China and 12 other countries including India, Estonia, Belarus, Turkey, Pakistan, South Africa, Hong Kong, Indonesia, etc. Over 150 exhibitors will showcase  footwear, clothing, hosiery, fashion accessories, textiles, machinery and components. So, if you are looking for new suppliers or exploring new agency agreements, then make sure you visit the event in November. There is no entry fee, but pre-register online at www.atfexpo.co.za. Should you wish to exhibit, contact LTE – leaders in trade exhibitions for more info, Tel: +27 21 790 5849 or Email: atfexpo@worldonline.co.za.

AfDB supports growth of African fashion sector

Courtesty: African Development Bank

Fashionomics Africa (the economics of fashion) is an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to increase Africa’s participation in the global textile industry supply chain. Under the initiative, AfDB aims to support the growth of African textile and fashion sectors through a focus on building the capacities of MSMEs, especially for women and youth.

In addition to using its traditional public- and private-sector financing instruments to support the growth of the textile and fashion industry, the AfDB is developing the innovative and technology-driven Fashionomics Africa platform, an online interactive marketplace for MSMEs and relevant stakeholders in the textile and fashion sectors in Africa.

The goal of this initiative is to enable young African textile and fashion entrepreneurs to create and grow their businesses, AfDB said in a statement. Explaining this further, Emanuela Gregorio, Gender and Innovation economist at AfDB said, “The goal is to connect and strengthen each link in the chain, from producers and suppliers of primary materials, to manufacturers and distributors, and of course including investors.”

“The Fashionomics platform is a wonderful opportunity for everybody who’s in the fashion industry across Africa to be able to connect. Problems shared will be problems halved and information that previously was not available can now become available,” said Anita Stanbury, executive director ‎of the South African Fashion Council (SAFC).

In the words of Lucilla Boyzen, designer and founder of South African Fashion Week: “The African continent holds huge potential for fashion. We all wear fashion. We need to understand the power that holds for every single country on this continent.”

Africa produces up to six per cent of the world’s cotton, but the continent has very few textile factories and, due to poor industrialisation, much of the fabric is imported from Asia. “Africa should be exporting finished textile products, such as clothes, suits, dresses, shirts; not cotton lint,” said Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB


R10m investment in digital printing to revive local textile industry

The arrival of digital textile printing in Cape Town can revive the local clothing and textile manufacturing industry and salvage some of the job opportunities lost to China. Craig Whyte, CEO of digital printing specialists ArtLab, has invested close to R10-million in new printing equipment over the past few years to bring digital textile printing to South Africa.

“We call it reshoring – bringing back some of the manufacturing jobs, which were a staple of Cape Town’s business landscape, from Chinese factories. By offering higher quality, rapid customisation and a broad range of natural and synthetic materials; digital textile printing is also a cost-effective option for brands and retailers, many of whom have trialled the tech over the past year and are now putting in increasingly large orders.”

Digital textile printing has already helped revive Europe’s textile industry. “Large fashion brands, such as Zara, use digital textile printing to design, print and roll out new styles and fashion to their stores quickly, in an environmentally sustainable manner. This allows them to stay on-trend without incurring the significant costs and potential wastage of doing large-volume print runs in China.”

According to the latest research, the global textile market is expected to reach more than $1.2-trillion by 2025.

“Despite coming off a low base of 2% of the total textile market, digital textile printing is set to disrupt the traditional textile industry drastically. Analysts estimate that the global digital textile printing sector will grow by 25% per annum over the coming years, with half of that growth centred in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.”

Empowering local small businesses

“According to the latest stats, the local industry went from employing 200,000 people in 2002 to a mere 90,000 today. The loss of jobs in this sector has had significant consequences, partly because three out of every four textile and clothing workers are women. For the industry to move from survival into a more consistent growth phase, it needs a shot in the arm. We believe digital textile printing is just that.”

“The effect of the offshoring of Cape Town’s textile and clothing manufacturing industry can clearly be seen in local neighbourhoods. We are based in Woodstock, where much of the industry was traditionally located. Over the past 15 years, we saw factories shut doors and witnessed the effect of these closures on the communities around us. For us, digital textile printing marks a revival of industries related to clothing, upholstery, soft furnishings, and more.

“The new technology gives old artisans and small businesses a cost-effective way to revive their craft and improve their livelihoods. We’re trying to create a platform for the industry – there’s a strong sense of entrepreneurship in what we’re trying to achieve.”

Greener option

Environmental impact has long been a concern in the traditional textile manufacturing industry, with some towns declared disaster areas due to run-off from textile factories.

“In India, water pollution from the run-off from fabric dying factories forced the closure of 30,000 family-owned farms in Tirupur, placing the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people at peril. Digital textile printing has none of the environmental issues associated with traditional pigment dyes, and uses a range of latest-generation technology to ensure minimal ecological impact.

“The secret to reviving the local textile industry lies in a combination of cutting edge technology and close collaboration between the various industry role players. We are inviting key stakeholders in the local textile industry to trial the new technology and witness for themselves the quality of digital printing on a range of natural and synthetic fabrics. Since print runs can start from as low as 1 metre, there’s no barrier to entry for new and existing clothing and textile manufacturers to see how it can speed up their production, unlock new business opportunities and spark a revival of a once-proud local industry,” concludes Whyte.

Gelvenor Gives Back to the Dassenhoek Community

In a continual effort to improve the lives of those around them, Gelvenor once again gave back to the community with a generous donation.

After witnessing the poor condition of the church and clinic in the Dassenhoek community, Peter Rasmussen from City Hope Nation Changers – a City Hill Church programme – initiated the project and began to look for partners who would assist him in offering much needed support to the community.

“They are doing amazing work in the Dassenhoek community and after seeing their facility and the challenges they face I knew something needed to be done,” said Rasmussen.

Peter reached out to companies in the area and Gelvenor answered the call to provide a solution. The project saw Gelvenor donate 200 metres of fabric to the Tshelimnyama Dassenhoek community to be used as a clinic and social/education centre.

Gelvenor CEO Dicky Coetzee said, “Our business has been evolving in South Africa since 1965 and we recognise that community involvement has to be part of what you do. We feel privileged that we can be a part of this”.

Gelvenor CEO Dicky Coetzee, Pastor Leonard Ndlovu and Peter Rasmussen

Canvas and Tent, another member of the South African Technical Textile Cluster (SATTC), sponsored the CMT of the fabric to produce military hip tents and storage bags. The tents were donated to Pastor Leonard Ndlovu who oversees the church and clinic in the community.

“We are incredibly grateful for this wonderful gift,” said Pastor Ndlovu. “Thank you to Gelvenor, Canvas and Tent and Peter and his team for their support”.

Pastor Ndlovu standing proudly next to the Dassenhoek community clinic & social/education centre

Having seen his project come to fruition and realising the inevitable impact it will have on the community, Rasmussen openly showed his gratitude to the Gelvenor team.

“I want to say to Gelvenor Textiles, thank you for this incredible blessing to the community. This is a wonderful outcome to the journey we have walked together,” concluded Rasmussen.

SACTWU to strike against the city of Cape Town

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) is due strike against the City of Cape Town, in early October this year.

This was decided yesterday, at a meeting of the union’s Western Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).

The reason for strike is the long outstanding dispute about the City’s unilateral decision to outsource the Good Hope Centre to a film company. This robbed the union of its traditional home for its annual Spring Queen Pageant.  The Spring Queen is a major annual event of the union’s local procurement- and jobs promotion campaign.

We have been treated disrespectfully in this regard. It indicates that the interests of the poor in general and workers in particular are just rubbished by the City.

The dispute was filed with the National Economic Development & Labour Council (NEDLAC) some time ago. It was never resolved. NEDLAC had issued a Section 77 Labour Relations Act (LRA) unresolved notice in this regard. In terms of the provisions of Section 77 of the LRA, the union is now legally entitled to strike.

As many as 30 000 clothing workers could descend on the City’s offices when the strike eventually commences.

We will use the period between now and when the strike actually  takes place to mobilise our members, and to engage our employer counter parts on measures to minimise the possible detrimental effects of the strike on our industry.

In line with the mandate of the SACTWU Western Cape PEC, the SACTWU General Secretary (Andre Kriel), will file the legally required notice of strike action with NEDLAC during the course of this coming week.

Issued by Andre Kriel SACTWU General Secretary

Did you know………

– Boys wore dresses until the 1910 till they reached the age of 5 0r 6. This was pretty common

– In 1860s dresses were so wide that girls and women often got stuck at the doorways

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