41 of 2019

           Newsletter No. 41                                                    25 October 2019


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The Foschini Group & ITL Group successfully deploy RFID across 22 brands

The Challenge

TFG operates 28 brands in over 4000 stores across 32 countries.  As a result ensuring stock counting is accurate is key to operate a successful omnichannel strategy.

“Stock accuracy is absolutely critical (…) we want to be able to fulfil orders across any channels and any inventory points” Greg Walsh – TFG Head of Omni-Channels Systems

The Solution

Along with a wide range of labelling and packaging products & solutions to support brands and retailers, global apparel label manufacturer, ITL Group, offers a unique 360 RFID solution. They partner with their customers along the entire RFID journey from scoping, proof of concept and business case to deployment and in store experience.

As a result TFG turned to ITL to support them as they embarked on an ambitious 24-month roll-out program in September 2018 covering all 22 TFG’s South African brans including Markham, Fabiani, G-Star Raw and Sports Divisions with the remaining brands going live thereafter.

ITL printed and encoded RFID labels with data uploaded from TFG onto its LabelVantage ™ supply chain application.  This allowed for production and supply occurring seamlessly across a number of their global service bureaus including South Africa, Mauritius, China, India, Bangladesh and Turkey with deliveries going directly to TFG’s product suppliers in region.

“Close collaboration combined with excellent project management and a can-do attitude were instrumental to building a successful partnership” Chris Currie – ITL COO

The Results

TFG announced a number of immediate cost savings attributed to their RFID adoption including reduced staff costs and stock counting expense.

The retailer claims that counting stock in one of their stores now only takes three hours whereas, prior to RFID the same activity would have taken the whole team two full days, incurring significant staff overtime and staff closure costs.

“RFID allows us more time and more efficiency in reducing the physical count activity in store and releases people to do what they’ve been employed to do. Besides the data integrity and the significant increase in replenishment, the ROI on RFID is massive” Martin Kurc – TFG Senior Operations Business Process Manager.

Tough for Botswana’s apparel units to drive AGOA gains

Pic: Shutterstock

Botswana’s textile and apparel producers reportedly seem to be giving up hope of exporting to the US under the duty-free provisions of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), preferring instead to focus on the local and regional markets. From 1.8 billion pula (P) in AGOA textile exports by local firms in 2008, the figure last year was at around P30,000.

In the same year, total textile exports were pegged at P233 million or 29 per cent higher than 2017 figures, implying that exports were growing but not to the US.

Textiles are the nation’s primary export under AGOA.

According to trade and industry minister Bogolo Kenewendo, the US is a very difficult market and the requirements on the business can be quite taxing. Competition with much cheaper South East Asian nations is also a factor as textile products from Botswana are more expensive, she said.

AGOA throws up challenges like scaling up by firms and consistent supply at consistent quality, she told a business publication. Scale, capacity, distance, costs and high competition have dissuaded nearly all domestic players in the country.

In addition, the government’s reluctance to provide direct export incentives saw the number of AGOA textile export firms drop from 13 before 2009 to just one by last year. That company, Carapparel Botswana, relocated to Lesotho which provides its AGOA textile exporters with a range of state-funded incentives.  F2F


California bans the sale of fur – here are all the fashion houses that have done the same

By Jemima Lewin (Updated by Phelokazi Mbude)

Could we possibly be on our way to a fur-free future?

The state of California in the U.S. has banned new fur sales, expanding from Los Angeles’ announcement in 2018 to ban the sale of fur clothing and accessories in the city.

The new law signed by California’s governor makes it illegal to “manufacture, sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, give donate or otherwise distribute a fur product in the state,” which applies to clothing and various accessories.

Business of Fashion reports this ban will not apply to second-hand fur products because fur products are used by Native American tribes for spiritual or cultural purposes.

California’s governor Gavin Newsom says this ban is “one of the strongest animal rights laws in U.S. history – making California the first state in the nation to ban new fur sales”.

For Los Angeles in 2018, its ban was unanimously voted in and it directed the Los Angeles City Attorney to design a policy that would make fur sales completely illegal.

Council member Bob Blumenfield, who introduced the motion, said: “This is L.A. taking a stand and saying we will no longer be complicit in the inhumane and vile fur trade that’s been going on for years.”

Recently London Fashion Week made headlines of anti-fur protesters outside shows alongside widespread climate change protests. Following mounding pressures from animal right activists multiple fashion brands have committed to no longer using fur in its collections.

Burberry, having suffered much controversy, announced in 2018 that it would be reconsidering its use of fur.

“On the limited occasions … fur has been considered important to design, we have insisted that it is sourced from authorised, regularly inspected suppliers operating to high ethical standards,” the fashion house told the Sunday Times. “There wasn’t any real fur in Burberry’s September 2017 or February 2018 runway collections. We can confirm that we are currently reviewing our use of real fur.”

Since more fashion brands have pledged to go fur-free as well:

Former CFDA chair Diane von Furstenberg’s namesake brand pledged to forgo using animal fur as well, as of 2019. DVF CEO Sandra Campos tells the CFDA: “It’s time for us to make this change and accept responsibility to ensure that we don’t promote killing animals for the sake of fashion. We are committed to supporting the shift to a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry by providing the consumer with innovative and sophisticated alternatives. Beginning with 2019, DVF will not incorporate the use of exotic skins, mohair, angora, or fur.”

In October 2017, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzari revealed that Gucci would be removing fur from all its collections as of Spring/Summer 2018. “We’ve been talking about it, Alessandro and I, for a few months. Technology is now available that means you don’t need to use fur. The alternatives are luxurious. There is just no need,” Bizzarri told Vogue.

Michael Kors committed to going fur-free in December 2017, with production of fur set to be phased out by the end of December 2018. The company’s policy also applies to the Jimmy Choo brand, which Kors acquired in July.

Donatella Versace announced in March of this year that her family’s brand will no longer use real fur in its products. “Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right,” the Italian designer told Luke Leitch in an interview for The Economist’s 1843 magazine.

DKNY and Donna Karan’s parent company announced that the brands will be going fur-free in 2019. This comes as a result of a long standing relationship with Humane Society International’s American affiliate HSUS. “HSI is delighted that since Gucci declared fur to be out-dated, designers have been racing to prove their relevance by dropping the archaic material,” said Wendy Higgins, director of international media at HSI.

Giorgio Armani revealed his intentions to stop using fur in March 2016. The brand committed to the new policy for its Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and Armani Privé Collections from Autumn/Winter 2016 onwards.

Vivienne Westwood is one of the designers who has been anti-fur for a very long time. She banned fur from her collections in 2007 after meeting with members of PETA.  W24

YKK collaborates with Ubuntu Life on new line of bags

YKK has teamed up with Ubuntu Life on its Fall 2019 line of bags handmade by its ‘Maker Mums’ in Maai Mahiu region of Kenya. 100 per cent of profits made by Ubuntu Life go to support social impact programmes in Kenya that empower communities it works with through job creation. Ubuntu Life is also changing stigmas on disability and education in the region.

The new product line, which features donated YKK #5 and #7 standard metal zippers in sage grey, camel brown, midnight blue, hibiscus red, and sea green includes Nairobi tote in new colours, new Naivasha tote (larger version of Nairobi tote), new backpack called the Mara backpack, new colours of the Love Crossbody with zip top closure, new medium sized pouch called the Kisumu Pouch that can be placed inside the other bags.

Ubuntu Life believes the deepest and most permanent ways to empower people and break the cycle of poverty is through sustainable enterprises. They have been producing high-quality products and experiences with the Maker Mums since 2010. The nonprofit business currently provides full-time, above-market employment and health insurance to over 80 people in the Maai Mahiu region of Kenya.

“Ubuntu Life’s philosophy of using the power of global commerce to create social impact aligns well with YKK’s philosophy of the ‘Cycle of Goodness’, which teaches us that no one prospers without rendering benefit to others,” said Chris Gleeson, director of Sales, YKK (US) global marketing group. “Tadao Yoshida, the founder of YKK, believed that a business’ value is measured by the benefits it shares with society, and these contributions to society can best be achieved through the continual creation of value through innovative ideas and inventions. We are delighted to partner with an organisation that benefits society and creates social change through providing the Maker Mums an opportunity to exhibit their beautiful craftsmanship for the entire world to see.”

“It’s an honour to partner with YKK, a company that we all know and have used their products our entire lives,” said Zane Wilemon, CEO of Ubuntu Life. “It is through collaborations such as these that restore hope to the world because not only will these products be used globally, but they are creating sustainable impact for communities that will cause a ripple effect of change for generations to come. This is what YKK did for their original employees and their employees’ families in Japan and it is what Ubuntu Life, as the lifestyle brand of Africa, is doing in Kenya today.”

Ubuntu Life began in 2000 when co-founders Zane Wilemon and Jeremiah Kuria teamed up to find a way to aid children and families impacted by special needs in the Maai Mahiu region of Kenya. This is when they built a special needs centre providing access to essential services and promoting social inclusion for children with special educational and physical needs throughout Kenya. Now, the Ubuntu Life brand has three thriving enterprises, allowing the Ubuntu Life mission to impact over 6,000 lives. Profits earned by Ubuntu Life, Café Ubuntu and Ubuntu Life Water go toward supporting the Ubuntu Life Foundation so children may receive the education and therapy they need to lead dignified lives. The non-profit uses a unique combination of enterprise and philanthropy to fuel vibrant and diverse communities in Africa, helping them grow from within. Ubuntu Life’s social enterprises create a foundation of commerce in these communities that help cultivate sustainable economy, wellness and prosperity.

From backpack manufacturers to skyscraper builders, users of YKK’s two great brands – YKK Fastening Products and YKK AP Architectural Products – benefit from YKK’s network of 108 companies operating in 72 countries and regions. F2F

Did you know……..

1935 Fashion: What did people wear?

Hair was brushed to the top of the head in a mass of curls and makeup emphasized bone structure in a bold way.

Bra cup sizes (A-D) were introduced in 1935.

Mainbocher’s two-piece navy wool dress with lace cuffs and collar was a particularly awesome outfit from 1935.

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