5 of 2017


Newsletter No.05     17 February 2017

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SAVE THE DATE! Source Africa, 24 & 25 May 2017, CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

It’s exciting times for Africa – Africa’s economic growth over the last decade has been robust. Currently the continent is growing at slightly below 4% which is still the second highest growth performance after Asia.

Africa will play an increasingly important role in the textile, clothing and footwear industry over the next decade and Source Africa will demonstrate to buyers that African manufacturers can compete on price, quality, standard and reliability. Source Africa, the 5th African Textile, Apparel & Footwear Trade Exhibition, will bring together suppliers, manufacturers and service providers in one major integrated event, enabling International and African Buyers to view and explore a wide array of top class products and services. The event will   include a two day trade exhibition, African Country Pavilions, international business seminars and a ‘who’s who’ in the industry cocktail reception. Source Africa will take place in Cape Town as South Africa is the recognised gateway to sub-Saharan Africa and Cape Town is the ‘Head Quarter’ of the large African chain stores and many independent retailers. Source Africa should not be confused with some smaller shows that take place in Africa and claim they are the largest on the African continent.

It once again has the full support of USAID, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the DTI, TIKZN, Enterprise Mauritius, Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), SAFLEC, etc.

To book your stand, contact William Scalco on william@sourceafrica.co.za, Tel: +27 21 790 5849. To visit Source Africa, complete the online visitor registration form at www.sourceafrica.co.za. Entry is free but pre-registration necessary.

Kids wear booms as 2017 fashions revealed

Across the retail sector, one category that is on a steep climb is children’s wear, with its growth far exceeding that of ladies and menswear. Fashion trends for 2017 include social media and young celeb influence.

Charl Cronje, MD of Ackermans believes that the days of children wearing ‘hand-me-downs’ or ill-fitting clothing are gone, with the company’s research revealing that even in a tough economic climate, parents are spending and retailers are soaring, as a result of an increased emphasis on value-buying.

Kids wear boom in 2017

Technavio, an international market research company, forecasts the sector’s growth to be more than 6% by 2020. This percentage far surpasses the anticipated growth in the women and men’s wear sectors for the same period.

This boom appears to be in stark contrast with the overall clothing sector’s performance, especially locally. South African consumers are cash-strapped, as was evidenced by the retail industry’s results from the last fiscal; with most local retailers reporting tiny or even negative like-for-like growth margins – a cumulative result of a struggling global economy.

“Despite Ackermans being one of the few retailers to report positive like-for-like numbers over the past five years, the slow-down is due to macro-environmental factors. The drop in the rand’s value, climate change, political uncertainty and the rising cost of inflation has impacted consumers across the board.

“There is a greater focus on value. Many of our customers are looking for added value at a good price – for example, a two-pack of good quality school shirts for a few rands more than that of a single. There is an emphasis on getting more for less.”

Social platforms boost global fashion trends

Boosted by the infiltration of fashion into children’s clothing, this category is consistently outperforming other lines.

“The advent of technology and rise of social media have also been huge contributors to this growth, specifically in the pre-teen category. Thanks to social platforms such as Instagram and technology such as smartphones, satellite TV and tablets, children now have immediate access to international trends. This has led to an increasingly discerning and style conscious young customer, with the ‘pester power’ to sway their parents’ purchasing decisions.

“To take advantage of the category growth, retailers need to be customer-centric and adaptable. If a line of kids’ jackets sold well last year, do not assume a similar style will do well this year. Do not repeat a formula simply because it was successful in the past. The macro environment is in a constant state of flux and children’s desires – and the circumstances of their parents or guardians – are dynamic. Make sure your business is attuned to this.

“It is integral to pay attention to and constantly re-assess customers’ needs, innovate and adapt accordingly, and then deliver well – and consistently – on your brand proposition,” Cronje concludes.

2017 trends

Global design executive at Ackermans, Sam Jones, outlines a few of the fashion trends for 217 in children’s’ clothing.

Simplified styling, intricate detail: While kids are veering away from fussy, complex styles, they are focused on detail; embroidery, lace and even holograms are set to be big news in 2017. “Children’s fascination with social platforms that utilise augmented reality – such as Snapchat – will also influence design. I anticipate Snapchat’s quirky filters popping up on T-shirts and hoodies,” predicts Jones.

Mini-me: Kids are drawing style inspiration from celebrities – and closer to home – mom and dad. “We saw this trend a few years ago and it has been making a comeback in 2017. Kids want to wear the same styles as mom and dad and there is a demand for kid-friendly replicas of what they see their parents wearing. An example is a woman wearing a maxi dress, with her daughter emulating her in a three-quarter version, appropriate for her age.”

Twinning: Siblings are increasingly opting to wear matching or complementary outfits. Establishing their identity is important to kids, but in 2017, children are finding comfort in choosing to express themselves with their siblings as a unit.

Active wear: Children love active wear as it is both fashionable and functional, and even more so in 2017 as they see the ‘athleisure’ trend become more popular with adults.

Rise of the young influencer: Greater access to social media means that children’s fashion is inspired by that of social media influencers and celebs. It makes sense that we are starting to see the rise of the young influencer. Willow and Jaden, the offspring of Will and Jada, are just two up-and-coming stylistas that influence the pre-teen market especially.

This has also led to young consumers aspiring to pursue a future career in fashion; something that is encouraged and nurtured through fashion design competitions aimed at children, such as the Ackermans Style Squad..


Nigerian government allocates N51bn to garment industry

The Government of Nigeria has allocated N51 billion ($162.034 million) in this year’s budget for development of the country’s garment and textile industry. The budget allocation is part of the Nigerian government’s efforts to promote the garment and textile sector to create jobs, diversify its economy, and to increase the use of ‘Made in Nigeria’ clothing.

“The ministry has allotted over N51bn in the 2017 budget just to promote our garment industry, because we know it is an area where we have to get it right. And so, out of the six special economic zones, three will be for textiles,” minister of state for industry, trade and investment, Aisha Abubakar said at the opening session of a workshop organised by the Bank of Industry (BoI) for garment operators in Abuja.

The minister said that the government understands the importance of the garment sector in creating jobs and reducing poverty. She added that the government was working hard to support the industry through massive investment in infrastructure, which would help bring down the price of cotton, according to Nigerian media reports.

Waheed Olagunju, acting managing director of BoI, said the bank has set up a N1 billion ($3.177 million) fund for the textile sector. Loans are given out from this fund at nine per cent interest rate ad payable between three to five years, with a moratorium period of six to 12 months.


Did you know….

The YKK you see on most zippers? It stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha, which roughly translates to the Yoshida Company Limited. YKK is the most popular zipper maker in the world.

Victorian men used to wear locks of their lover’s pubic hair in their hats as mementos

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