39 of 2020

                                                                                                          

                                                              Newsletter No. 39 / 16 October 2020                            

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Look Local for Sustainable Fashion

Dylan Rothschild

The ‘eco savvy’ movement continues as local fashion brands promote a more sustainable and conscious approach to fashion. But with a third of the population unemployed and consumers trying to cut back on expenses, are local brands making sustainable fashion accessible?

According to Dylan Rothschild, Managing Partner of local fashion brand Lontana Apparel, “The industry can no longer ignore the fact that fashion and textiles are the world’s second largest polluters, second only to the oil industry. With the rise of ‘fast fashion’, it has become clear that fashion brands need to do what they can to bring about a more sustainable, eco-friendly approach, while still maintaining quality and affordability.”

As eco-consciousness increasingly permeates the social collective, consumers are doing their part to reduce the impact of fast fashion on the environment.

These measures include:  shopping less; buying higher quality garments to reduce waste; supporting eco-conscious brands; and shopping for previously owned, vintage clothing. Choosing to purchase locally-produced items is one of the simplest first steps to take in this direction.

Shopping closer to home

“Our products, like our famous Madiba shirts and now protective masks, are produced locally, made by local workers, with South African consumers in mind,” says Dylan.

The sustainable benefits supporting local fashion:

  • Promotes community enrichment. Locally produced products provide much needed jobs to our South African communities. For example, during lockdown due to COVID-19, Lontana Apparel worked with over 20 external CMT manufacturers, providing over 1000 people with work they otherwise might not have had.
  • Improves the local ‘eco-system’. Buying locally keeps money in the community, benefiting the area as a whole and fostering togetherness. It also allows for local businesses to help each other grow – local clothing brands can supply local stores, and other surrounding businesses may be able to use off-cuts or other recycled materials.
  • Reduces the use of fossil fuels. More than 80 billion articles of clothing are bought each year, and transporting these billions of items adds up to a massive expulsion of greenhouse gasses – in fact, the fashion industry contributes to around 5% of global greenhouse gasses. Supporting local fashion means not contributing to the massive amounts of pollution caused by fossil fuels used to transport textiles.
  • Ethical fashion. Knowing where a brand’s clothes come from means consumers can be comfortable in the knowledge they aren’t contributing to unethical practices such as sweatshops and the exploitation of workers, and environmentally damaging mega-factories.
  • Prized possessions. Buying locally also means consumers are more likely to buy items that aren’t mass-produced, disposable bulk products, but specialised, quality items that will last longer and reduce waste.

The rise of conscious consumers

Consumers are better informed than ever, and are doing their research when it comes to the environmental impact of various producers. Globally, many large fashion industry players have had to rethink their approaches after being labelled bad for the environment, and it shows – the U.S. sustainability market is projected to reach $150 billion in sales by 2021.

South Africans reuse and recycle clothing at a far greater rate than in first world countries. Unfortunately, this is driven more by economic need than a desire to be environmentally friendly.

Our clothing and textile industry has also faced devastating consequences from cheap imports and job losses in the sector, which have risen to almost 30%, as evident in the closure of the Edcon group.

However there are signs that more South Africans are shopping locally. Independent designers have seen an increase of about 10% since the previous year, according to SA Fashion Week’s 2019 annual report. The government is also doing their part to increase local textile and clothing sales, with a new plan to broaden locally produced fashion sold in stores from 44% to 65% by 2030, which could create as many as 120 000 jobs.

What are eco-conscious consumers looking for from local fashion?

So how should fashion brands be ensuring and improving sustainability?

  • Produce sustainable, quality items. Fashion items should be well-made, from quality fabrics to ensure length of use. Long-lasting items go a long way in reducing waste and the piling of items into landfills.
  • Recycle. Fashion brands can recycle and reuse fabric and textiles to create new items without adding to the global impact of water shortages and pollution caused by manufacturing and growing cotton and other materials.
  • Local for locals. Hiring locals enriches your community and lessens the environmental impact of transport.
  • Organic materials. Organically produced clothing reduces the release of damaging pesticides, dyes and toxins into the environment.
  • Transparency. Let consumers know the journey their clothing takes before they buy it – knowing where their clothes come from allows consumers to make a more informed ecologically conscious decision, and reassures them of the ethical nature of their production.

“We understand that our consumers are well-versed in the environmental discourse of today, and that they want ethically produced, quality garments that are budget-friendly. It’s up to us, and the rest of the fashion industry, to do our part in creating sustainable and ecologically conscious products”, concludes Dylan.

 About Lontana Apparel

Lontana Apparel Factory was founded in 1999 in Cape Town and is one of the most established remaining shirt factories in the Western Cape. Lontana was acquired by the Presidential Group in 2017. To help fight the pandemic caused by COVID-19, Lontana is now and until further notice producing quality bulk disposable and reusable face masks. For more information, please visit lontana.co.za

Nigeria clears shoes, garment processing hubs in Aba, Kano

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the setting up of two hubs for manufacturing shoes, garments and processing leather in Aba in Abia state and Janguza in Kano state, under a private-public partnership. The project, costing N5.1 billion, would be managed by two companies, a Nigerian and a Chinese, and will generate around 4,330 jobs.

According to the country’s minister of interior Rauf Aregbesola, the council approved the full business skills compliance certificate issued by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for the design, financing, upgrade, operation and transfer of the Nigeria Correctional Service Shoe, Garment and Leather Processing Factory located in Aba and Janguza.

The hubs will also train inmates of correctional facilities in Janguza and Aba. The contract for full business skills compliance certificate has been offered to Nigeria’s LG Investment Limited, which is partnering with Beijing-based Full Technology Incorporated, he was quoted as saying by Nigerian media reports. F2F

Tribunal approves Truworths’ acquisition of Barrie Cline Clothing with employment condition

The Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) has conditionally approved the transaction whereby K2020211444 (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (“K2020”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Truworths Limited (“Truworths”), will acquire the business (assets and liabilities) of Barrie Cline Clothing (Pty) Ltd (Barrie Cline) as a going concern. Upon implementation of the merger, K2020 will exercise sole control over Barrie Cline.

Although the merger parties provided an undertaking that the transaction will not result in any merger-specific retrenchments, the Tribunal has approved the merger with an employment condition i.e. the acquiring firm shall not retrench any employees as a result of the merger for a period of one (1) year from the merger implementation date.

Acquiring firm

K2020, a wholly owned subsidiary of Truworths, is a special purpose vehicle and does not have any business activities.

Truworths is a wholly owned subsidiary of Truworths International Group Limited (“Truworths International Group”). In addition to Truworths, Truworths International Group owns multiple other companies, such as Truworths Botswana (Pty) Ltd and Truworths (Namibia) Limited.

The Truworths Group is an investment holding and management company that invests in companies that are leading retailers of fashion clothing, footwear, related merchandise and homeware. The Truworths Group operates through multiple stores in South Africa, Africa, the United Kingdom and Europe.

Target firm

Barrie Cline manufactures (through outsourced arrangements) and supplies women’s outerwear apparel exclusively to Truworths from a central head office and warehouse in Cape Town.

It arranges for the manufacture of lady’s outerwear apparel through outsourced arrangements with cut, make and trim operators (“CMTs”). CMTs are factories that cut, make and trim fabrics into clothing.

Commission’s recommendation

The Commission, which assesses large mergers before referring them to the Tribunal for a decision, found that the proposed transaction did not raise any competition or public interest concerns and recommended unconditional approval. However, as previously mentioned, the Tribunal thereafter imposed an employment condition. The merger was therefore approved subject to a condition.

Here they are, the DFF new faces – the class of 2020!

By Steven J Brown

The Durban Fashion Fair is celebrating its 9th year and recently showcased 25 local designers, who had again came together to not only celebrate the fascination of fashion but boost the city’s mode economy by supporting local businesses and talent and businesses.

The three-night showcase aptly themed The Show Must Go on took place last month on September 23, 24, 25.

To discover hidden talents that can put Durban on the fashion map as well as ensure that, when it comes to design, Durban is a top contender, the eThekwini Municipality has invested substantial sums in internships, industry related training programmes, networking sessions and various lifestyle and modelling programmes and boot camps.

The current “crop” of new faces are evidence of just how effective this has been.

These models pictured, were scouted throughout the greater eThekwini Municipality at the beginning of the year, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was temporally put on hold during the first half of 2020, however now that we are back to level 1, all is back on track.

Now it is the turn of the students in the fashion development  & model bootcamp programmes who will have their own stand-alone show, showcasing the creations of the 2020 designer mentees creations.

These model hopefuls trained by professionals (Stanley Okwulieaku & Khwezi Ngwenya – Ntombela) who are no strangers to the DFF runway will provide them with invaluable training over  the next couple of months – from posing and posture, nutrition,  photographic editorial techniques to runway training, all things “model etiquette”.  This will give them the tools to reach for their dreams and take full advantage of the opportunity to participate in a high profile fashion show such as the DFF.

Both of the students from these respective programmes will be put through their paces at their own show hosted at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, together with the much anticipated DFF Recognition Awards show on Friday, December 11th!

In case you missed all the past “fashiontainment” action from the #DFF2020 on www.durbanfashionfair.com – go to the facebook page: Durban Fashion Fair or on Twitter / Instagram @Dbnfashion_fair to find out how! Remember to #supportlocal

Did you know……..

Birds of a Feather

Bird feathers were used to decorate the hats of upper class women, which lead to the near-extinction of some species. Plume hunting was a scourge in Florida’s Everglades and in 1900, more than five million birds were being killed each year (up to 95% of Florida’s shorebirds). The birds’ plight was memorialized onscreen in 1958’s Wind Across the Everglades.

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