8 of 2017

Newsletter No.08    10 March  2017

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Premier Helen Zille and Minister Alan Winde visited ACA Threads yesterday.

ACA Threads is a Cape Town-based sewing threads manufacturer that has implemented various energy saving measures to reduce its energy consumption. The site visit to ACA forms part of the Western Cape Government’s month-long Energy Efficiency Awareness campaign, which is driven through the Western Cape Government’s Energy Security Game Changer.

The site visit started off with a presentation by ACA Threads Operations Manager Chris Handt, where Premier Zille and Minister Winde were shown the various energy efficiency interventions by ACA, as well as some of the other sustainability initiatives the company has put into action on its premises.

The presentation showed that ACA’s 131 kWp rooftop solar PV system, which was installed in 2015, is generating savings of R500 000 a year. Other energy efficiency interventions include: Installing electricity meters in each department, which allows for close monitoring of ACA’s energy consumption behaviour; Installing a new variable speed drive compressor; Installing LED lighting; and an extensive heat recovery project which helped the company reduce its energy usage.

Some of ACA’s other sustainability initiatives include:

  • Waste: Since 2001, ACA has reduced its waste to landfill by 96%. The company has saved R735 000 in the past four years through its recycling efforts.
  • Water: ACA has reduced their water usage by 66% for each kilogram of thread dyed. In 2012, ACA used 160 litres/kg in the thread dying process. By managing its water use efficiently, the company now uses 48 litres/kg in the thread dying process. This translates to water savings of roughly 4.5 Mil Litres /Month.
  • Heavy Furnace Oil (HFO): ACA has also reduced the amount of HFO used for each kilogram of thread dyed, from 0.48 Litres/kg in 2012 to 0.28 Litres/kg in 2017. The company has achieved R300 000 in savings per year since 2012 as a result.
  • Electricity: The monthly electricity usage in 2013-2015, Pre PV Plant & Tariff change was 30000 KW = R170000 and now, Post PV plant & Tariff change, it is 100000 KW = R130000 per month

After the presentation by Chris Handt, Premier Zille and Minister Winde proceeded to a site tour of ACA. Premier Zille said: “The Western Cape is home to a growing number of green manufacturers who are driving South Africa’s status as the fastest growing green economy hub in the world. Our goal is to create an enabling environment for businesses and residents to switch to solar, save on their electricity bill, and generate income by feeding power back into the grid. We’ve helped 15 municipalities to get Nersa-approved tariffs in place so people can be compensated for the power they generate. In this way we will enhance our energy security, and reduce the region’s reliance on the Eskom monopoly.”

Minister Winde said: “By operating responsibly, ACA have a people and green centred bottom-line. Sustainability is at the core of their business. It is this kind of leadership and vision that South Africa can be proud of. It is my hope that ACA serves as an example to other businesses.”

The month-long Energy Efficiency Awareness campaign focuses on raising awareness about the benefits of installing solar PV panels and efficient water heaters, as a cost saving measure, and in line with creating a greener world.  ACA Threads is just one of the many companies that is making a significant contribution towards energy security and growing the green economy in the province. This process is driven under the Western Cape Government’s 110% Green banner.

“We will continue to encourage businesses across the province to switch and save –  adopt energy efficient measures that contribute to a greener environment. In the process they will cut down on operating costs, enabling them to create new jobs,” said Premier Zille.

“ACA is a prime example of how energy and water savings supports business growth”.

Africa’s first cashmere producer launches debut collection

Africa’s first indigenous cashmere, produced from the local iMbuzi goat, was displayed as part of the Ivili Loboya launch at the Impact Hub in Rosebank, Johannesburg, from 23-25 February 2017. This yarn is part of a variety of fabrics, including blends with silk and merino wool, as the brand’s debut Dedani Collection.

Design themes                                                   

Eco dyes from natural sources, such as leaves, fruits, bark and flowers have been used to create the collection’s palette of warm, earthy tones. These include ochre, bone, nut, marula, wild peach and pitch. The Dedani Collection’s indigenous luxury fabrics range from hand spun and woven to hand knitted or machine-made, and are printed according to three design themes.

• Under the Clan theme, the main designs are Totem, an abstract presentation of natural objects and animals that reference spiritual ancestral connections and Tyali, celebrating the Xhosa Makoti or bride and the fertility of the clan.

• The Earth theme combines references to the dichotomy of drought (Mbalela) and waterfalls (Amanzi), evoking the farmer’s reality and climate change.

• The Ethnic theme evokes and celebrates humanity’s common heritage through its interweaving geometrics and the cultural fusion of Ndebele and Xhosa traditional designs.

Reviving local textile industry

Ivili Loboya, meaning ‘Wheel of Wool’, is a natural fibre (wool & cashmere) beneficiation enterprise, for woven and non-woven textile products, based at Ibika, near Butterworth in the rural Eastern Cape.

“Dedani means ‘Get out of the way!’ because we intend to revive South Africa’s textile industry through local natural resources and create a niche for ourselves in the global luxury fabric market,” says Ivili Loboya owner, Dr Vuyo Mahlati.

“We see a great future for our pioneering fabrics, as our research shows that Africa’s growing middle class is discerning in its fabric choices, looking for natural fibres where possible. There has been significant pre-launch interest, both nationally and internationally.”

Top designers at launch

The initiative also has considerable support from textile, industrial and policy sectors. Minister Jeff Radebe gave a launch address on 23 February, attended by well-known designers such as Marianne Fassler, Laduma and others. The following day Minister Lindiwe Zulu responded to a South African designers’ roundtable, hosted by Brand SA Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama and featuring Fred Eboka and Interior Décor Designers.

“Compared to wools, the soft handle and light weight of cashmere combined with its durability and wonderful warmth make it a beautiful fabric to work with,” says Eboka. “It is wonderful to be able to source such luxurious quality locally so we can keep our ranges Proudly South African.”

Luxury fabric demand

Cashmere is made from the soft, fine inner hair of the goat’s coat. Originally, the term was applied only to goat hair from the Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent but usage has since broadened to all goat hair that is similarly fine and soft. Cashmere is in great demand for luxury fabrics from suiting to upholstery.

At its vertically integrated wool-processing hub, Ivili Loboya offers wool-sorting and scouring, fibre manufacturing and hand spun yarns. It also supplies insulation and inner soles for safety shoes. Fibres are sourced from small farmers, many of them women. It has trained employees in spinning, weaving and knitting as well as machine production. Senior staff and management are mainly young people with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in subjects such as textiles and engineering who are keen to live and work in their home region rather than migrate.

The company collaborates with the agricultural colleges and the Materials Science and Manufacturing Unit of the CSIR, among others. Dr Mahlati’s doctorate from the University of Stellenbosch focused on commercialisation and mainstreaming of rural economies through value chains. She also has experience at the retail end of fashion, having owned a designer boutique.

“We hope to contribute to reviving the textile industry before institutional knowledge and skills disappear with the generations. Our fabrics are environmentally friendly, sustainable and versatile and we believe that Africa and the world will welcome them for use in high-end fashion design and home furnishings,” concludes Dr Mahlati.

NO DECAMPING AT SAFW SS17 COLLECTIONS as 67 South African designers are set to showcase their 2017 Spring Summer Collections from 28 March – 1 April 2017 at The Park, Hyde Park Corner

Over the past 20 years SA Fashion Week (SAFW) has brought the creative fashion design industry together.

The SAFW SS17 Collections will highlight another season of high-end designs that will consist of 47 ladies wear and 20 menswear designers. 35 designers will be debuting this season.

The exclusive celebrity, media and designer sprinkled Opening Party will be hosted by Cruz Vodka on Monday, 27 March 2017.

The first show on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 will be hosted by Woolworths – Style by SA (a Woolworths capsule collection by South African designers) featuring eight “Top, Designers To Be” on the Runway.

One of the highlights this season is the Resort-Wear Collections – a very first for the country. Five sought after labels will showcase their luxury and highly specialised collections. Taking you from the beach to the ballroom these cross-cultural collections signify leisure, success, travel, and an appreciation for bringing style to every aspect of your life.

“A Date with a Thousand Years” by Chu Yan is an exciting collaboration between SA Fashion Week and Chu Yan, a Beijing based designer.  Brought to us by the Ministry of Culture of China – The Embassy of China in South Africa and inspired by ancient Chinese culture. Chu Yan’s Collection will bring us a glimpse of the past and a preview into the future:   “…beauty rooted in Chinese culture that fits the lifestyles of contemporary society.’ – Chu Yan. Chu Yan has partnered with Impilo Collection to bring jewellery that is unique and tells your story.

Lufthansa 1st Class Collections brings us another ground-breaking collaboration between SA Fashion Week and The Berlin Fashion Week. Designer, Anja Gockel will showcase her collection on the same platform as South African Designers; Aya Goods, Aya Velase, Sheila-Madge, and Stitch & Steel. To join this dynamic group of designers is Nigerian fashion designer Paolo Sisiano. Paolo is celebrated for his minimalist designs, bold colour palette, and the representation of fluidity in his work.

“Rise of the OXX” Collection will be presented by DUT (Durban University of Technology). Top final year DUT students will showcase their interpretation of The Rise of the OXX. The learned designers will explore the theme and its meaning in the context of fashion.

The SAFW Trade Event will take place from Thursday, 30 March to Saturday, 1 April in conjunction with the Collections. This will take place in a marquee situated directly next to the Show Auditorium at The Park at Hyde Park Corner and will be open from 12H00 to 20H00 daily, allowing the media and buyers that attend the Collections to visit the Trade Event. 50 Designers will exhibit their SS17 Collections.

Leading photographer Merweline Van der Merwe is collaborating with Clive Rundle to produce a photographic narrative on Clive’s latest work. This will be exhibited on Thursday, 30 March 2017 at 18H30. “I’ve always worn the feelings I have for Clive Rundle’s mastery on my sleeve. My next wish should be wearing sleeves as designed in his Spring Summer Collection” – Mahlatse James, blogger from MJ and Stuff.

Accomplished designer Gert-Johan Coetzee will detour this season. Exclusive media and guests will be treated to the GJC Spring Summer Collection at the Four Seasons Hotel at The Westcliff – by invitation only.

On Friday, 31 March 2017 SAFW “Scouting Menswear” in association with GQ Magazine will kick off the Menswear Collections. Never-seen-before designs will grace the runway – these are the future stars in Menswear design.

Set to single showcase will also be Black Coffee with his collection FIVE BLACK COFFEE WINTER 2017, Hangwani from Rubicon, and Ryan Keys.

To end off the 5-day series of SAFW events is one of SA’s favourite designers, Ephraim Molingoana from Ephymol, who first showed his Collection in 2003. ‘When people believe in you and compare you to other great designers, there’s a sense of pride’ – Ephraim Molingoana. Sharing the runway with Ephymol will be Floyd Avenue – winner of the 2016 SAFW Scouting Menswear in association with GQ Magazine.

From 6 – 8 April 2017, the public will be treated to “The SAFW Luxury Designer Pop-Up” in Hyde Park

Corner’s Centre Court. Where they will be able to meet, and buy directly from the designers.

Did you know….

Ralph Lauren— real name Ralph Lifshitz — started out as a tie designer.

Speaking of, a tie fanatic, or collector, is called a grabologist.

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