36 of 2017

Newsletter No.36   22 September 2017

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Business accelerator for fashion entrepreneurs launched

Marketing agency Nonzero is collaborating with Standard Bank to create the Business of Fashion accelerator programme, ‘Threads – stitched by Standard Bank’, to boost South Africa’s up-and-coming fashion designers and turn them into powerful fashion CEOs.

In order to supplement the programme with an academic backbone, the team partnered with the e4 Impact Foundation, an initiative of the Universita Cattolica of Milan, focussing on impact entrepreneurship. Together, they created a 12-week curriculum that focuses on the business operations of a fashion enterprise from financing and retaining employees, to lean manufacturing and e-commerce, as well as specialised procurement methods and marketing.

The programme is open to all fashion entrepreneurs with existing business operating in South Africa for at least one year. It is taught simultaneously from four regional classroom hubs: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

Twelve-week programme

Working with the Standard Bank Incubator and a strong eco-system of partners in business including Mercedes-Benz, government and civil society, the programme uses the expertise of some of South Africa’s top business minds and thought leaders, as programme teachers. The programme uses case studies and experiential learning exercises to reinforce the academic learnership of the programme with practical industry insights.

It takes place two evenings per week for 12 weeks. The participants will also be taken on action learning field trips across South Africa designed to highlight best practices across the country in various fields.

At the end of the programme, the participants will be invited to present their new business model in a business case presentation to a panel of judges, and the winning participant will be taken on an international trade trip to Europe. The key focus of this trade trip is a meeting with a high-impact private distribution network enabling the participant to liaise with and present their business/products to wholesale buyers and retailers, as well as attending trade fairs.

The winning participant will receive an SME start-up pack courtesy of Standard Bank, will become a Mercedes Benz brand ambassador and drive a new vehicle for a 12-month period, as well as benefit from continued mentorship by the Threads team.

Business of fashion is essential

The global fashion industry today is worth $3 trillion, however, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 1% of that. It is not that the industry lacks creativity or access to finance but that its members do not understand the business of fashion. Fashion entrepreneurs need to be supported in professionalising their enterprises into running a profitable business, capable of competing on the international apparel scene, creating jobs and having an impact on the South African economy.

“Standard Bank is fully committed to driving sustainable, long-term growth on the continent. Our support of the Threads programme forms part of our greater vision, encouraging inclusive economic development for entrepreneurs across South Africa with the aim of creating positivity and prosperity for all in Africa – now and in the future,” says Jayshree Naidoo, head of the Standard Bank Incubator.

“What we’re looking to do is support the entrepreneurs’ creativity with the crucial business know-how, mentorship and support that will propel the business to the point where it is experiencing real growth and running as a professional outfit. The partnership with Standard Bank is a key to delivering on this goal.”

“It was important for us to see a strong tangible impact come from this programme. This is why we organised a trade trip to Europe and decided to take it one step further and work with industry experts for all of the individual modules of the course,” explains Tania Habimana, co-founder of Threads programme and Head of Content & Digital, NONZēRO.

To participate in the Threads programme, interested entrepreneurs can apply online before 11 October 2017.

Over 320,000 tons of CmiA cotton harvested in 2016

More than 320,000 tons of Cottton made in Africa (CmiA) certified cotton were harvested in 2016 and processed further by textile producers in Asia, Europe and Africa. An increase has been observed in the number of fashion brands and textile retailers purchasing cotton from CmiA, the largest label for sustainable cotton from Africa, for their textiles.

Nearly 30 companies and brands use CmiA cotton for their textiles. The top customers of 2016 include the Otto Group, with bonprix as the biggest buyer within the company group, Tchibo and the Rewe Group with its sales channels Rewe, Penny and Toom Baumarkt. Additionally, Engelbert Strauss, Ernsting’s family, Asos, Aldi Süd and Bestseller rank among the biggest buyers that support the initiative through their demand for CmiA cotton. Smaller fashion labels such as Hiitu from Germany, Cooekid from Great Britain, Weaverbirds from Denmark or Abaana from Uganda are also contributing significantly by purchasing CmiA cotton. They offer an exclusive selection of products made from Cotton made in Africa cotton, ranging from children’s clothing to high fashion textiles.

“In view of the many heterogeneous buyers of Cotton made in Africa cotton, it is clear that sustainable cotton from Africa can be used for a number of different product groups,” Christian Barthel, director supply chain management said. “Sustainable cotton can be used for a very wide basis in the textile industry. Our partners successfully show that Cotton made in Africa cotton can lay a sustainable foundation for many branches.”

CmiA cotton is grown by more than 780,000 smallholder farmers in 10 countries of sub-Saharan Africa and in accordance with the ecological and socio-economic criteria of the CmiA standard. More than 100 partners in the textile value chain are working with CmiA across the globe, to implement the principle of helping people to help themselves through trade.

2017 FASHION SHOW

FALSE GODS

“In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes”

Andy Warhol (Kerrigan et al. 2011)

Lights, camera and the written word with the invention of technology

the immediate access to information and the bombardment of social media…we are all famouswe all need acknowledgement and the art communication is on the hard drive of a sanitized, unemotional unempathetic device.

The world’s history is fuelled with people that have helped, shone, dictated, lived, ruled and divided humankind to where we are now and where we are going. whether we have a social standing, a belief known or,influenced like the minds of millions we are all famous in someone’s eyes,if not our own…

Durban University of Technology (DUT) will be exploding onto the fashion scene with their highly anticipated and much sought after Fashion Show on the 4, 5, 6 October 2017, at the Fred Crookes Sports Centre on the Steve Biko Campus in Durban. The coveted event will showcase the designs of 36 third year students with the best 20 ranges showcased at the gala evening, on Friday 6 October.

Each year the graduating class is given a theme that they have to interpret into a fashion style and this is revealed to the public at a 3-day fashion experience. Esteemed pioneers in fashion are flown in from all over SA to judge the student’s collections and select the top 20 designers to showcase on the finale evening. It is on this evening that the winners in the various categories are announced for the Most Innovative Range, Best Range on Show, Most Commercial Range, Best Menswear Range, Best Technical Student and a Special Recognition Award.

Our greatest international accomplishment is sharing our graduation platform with our international exchange school BIFT. The Beijing Institute of Fashion and Technology hosted some of our top designers at their shows earlier this year and we are both proud and excited to show their students work at our show.

On the horizon is a new brand, conceptualised in Durban, which will have its grand appearance at the show. The SA public will not only see the birth of an incredible label but also be able to purchase items from the OXX brand at the show.

A major first for DUT will be the inclusion of an established designer who will showcase their collection on the finale night.

Tickets for the show cost R50.00 for Wednesday and Thursday, and R60.00 for Friday, will be available @ Computicket and at the door.

For more information, please contact: Bilkis Razak 031 3733750 bilkisr@dut.ac.za , Sunthra Moodley 031 3733711     sunthram@dut.ac.za

Did you know………

Only from 2007 did the Russian military start wearing socks. Until then they just wrapped cloth around their feet.

The famous Ralph Lauren, began his career as a tie designer.

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