8 of 2018

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Newsletter No. 08                                                                                    09 March 2018

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AFI Cape Town Fashion Week Show Schedule is out!

Johannesburg, Sandton, 7 March 2018. African Fashion International (AFI) announces the show schedule for the AFI Cape Town Fashion Week. The Fashion Week will take place from the 21st to 24th of March 2018, with continental designers showcasing their creative work.

The theme for this year’s Cape Town Fashion Week is #IamAfrica. AFI’s calling summed up in one concise hashtag – to celebrate and showcase exceptional African creative talent on a global stage.

AFI will also hold Masterclass which are talk session given by experts in their respective field in the industry. It will also include interactive discussions and demonstration on latest trends by Wella and MAC representatives.

#IamAfrica: AFI Cape Town Fashion Week regains its African heritage with a show schedule that includes designers from Accra, Cape Town, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa, Lagos, Nairobi, Port Elizabeth, and Johannesburg.

To view the full schedule which includes, designers showing time, venues and Masterclass speakers follow the link below.

https://africanfashioninternational.com/afi-ctfw-schedule-2018/

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SA aims to patch-up frayed clothing industry

File: The arrival of giant international “fast fashion” brands such as H&M and Zara opened another front in the battle being fought by South African clothing manufacturers. Photo: AFP / Miguel Riopa

South Africa is fighting to revive its frayed clothing industry, once a crucial provider of jobs in a country suffering from high unemployment, as a flood of cheap imports forces local factories to shutter and lay off workers.

Once the economic lifeblood of many small regional towns, the abundance of cheaper products from China has led to the loss of nearly two-thirds of the sector’s jobs over the past two decades.

“After being employed for 22 years we were informed that the factory would close down in eight weeks,” said Vimla Padayachee, 46, who lost her job three years ago.

The clothing factory in Verulam, north of Durban, shut down after years of battling low demand for its products.

“A person of my age is not likely to get another job again, and so are my colleagues,” she said.

The former seamstress is one of thousands of clothing sector workers who have been made redundant, in a country where official unemployment is nearly 30 percent.

The dire situation forced the government to intervene while business has called for a radical policy overhaul to stem the crisis.

Inside a bustling factory in Maitland near Cape Town, workers bowed in front of rows of whirring sewing machines, stitching at a brisk pace to fulfil daily orders from a local chain store.

It is one of the producers benefitting from government grants and loans designed to help companies recapitalise their operations.

‘Amazing potential’

“We’ve had a very rocky ride and we have lost ground to the rest of the world,” said Christopher Kinross, who runs a clothing company that bears his name and employs 253 people. “The industry is stagnant at the moment” Kinross, who has been in the industry for more than 50 years, said the government’s scheme had brought “some stability”.

But he stresses that more had to be done to promote competition and create jobs.

“There is no doubt that there is a will to help the industry… but the problems go beyond the influx of imports,” said Kinross.

One of the main challenges facing the industry is a tax on importing raw materials essential for manufacturers.

“We pay 22 percent duty on imported fabrics… if they remove that duty, our businesses could grow in a spectacular fashion,” he said.

“The industry has an amazing potential to create jobs but that is not happening.”

Years of talks to remove the duty have been unsuccessful and there are no quotas on clothing imports.

South Africa’s textiles and clothing sector contributes 3.3 percent to the nation’s overall economic output – and is heavily reliant on domestic consumption.

Foreign investment in apparel has repeatedly bypassed South Africa and instead gone to Lesotho, Swaziland and Madagascar, among other African nations.

“We pay wage levels that are relatively high for clothing manufacturing countries,” said Kinross.

As much as 45 percent of sector income is spent on labour costs, he added.

Only textile businesses that agree to pay a minimum wage set by the government qualify for official assistance.

The support for the industry has been running for six years, supporting 505 beneficiaries and distributing R5.3 billion.

‘Devastation’ in local industry

“Whatever is needed to be done to protect the industry, it must be done,” said Rob Davies, the trade minister.

“But it should be in the interest of industry development and to improve the local supplier base.”

The arrival of giant international “fast fashion” brands such as H&M and Zara opened another front in the battle being fought by South African clothing manufacturers.

Fast fashion retailers, which largely source their products from outside South Africa, have aggressively expanded in the country in recent years — denting sales of locally made garments.

In November, the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union staged protests outside malls across the country to pressure retailers to buy locally.

“These foreign retailers cause fewer orders in South African factories which contributes to local (redundancies) and factory closures,” the union said.

Despite the challenges facing the sector, but the green shoots of recovery are starting to be seen.

“In almost 15 years we have probably lost somewhere between around 160,000 – 170,000 jobs, but from around 2011 (job losses) began to taper off – and within the last 18 months we have seen it pick up,” said Simon Appel, an industry researcher.

“A decline in retail sales is causing a devastation in the local industry,” he said, adding that boosting exports would be vital to turning around the situation.

“Our industry is struggling to break back into the export market.” ENCA.com

Kenya plans to revive textile sector in NYS cotton farming

Kenya’s National Youth Service (NYS) has been allocated 100,000 acres of the Galana-Kulalu Complex to revive the ailing textile industry, President Uhuru Kenyatta said during the passing out parade of NYS recruits in Gilgil recently. He said the project is in line with his Big Four Agenda aimed at steering the economy to double digit growth.

Under the plan, 50,000 jobs are expected to be created in cotton farming, which has a target of generating 20 billion Kenyan shilling (Sh) in apparel export earnings this year, according to a report in a Kenyan newspaper.

The Galana-Kulalu ranch is located in the counties of Kilifi and Tana River. F2F

Smart and comfortable: new textiles for high-tch clothing developed in Bayreuth

Uncomfortable, rigid, with low air permeability: textile materials capable of conducting electricity can be awkward for day-to-day use. However, researchers at the University of Bayreuth, Donghua University in Shanghai, and Nanjing Forestry University have now developed new nonwoven materials that are electrically conductive as well as flexible and breathable. This paves the way for comfortable high-tech clothes which, for example, convert sunlight to warmth, supply wearable electronic devices with electricity, or contain sensors for fitness training. The scientists have published their findings in the journal npj Flexible Electronics.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Greiner’s team of researchers at the University of Bayreuth and their Chinese partners have succeeded in producing electrically conductive nonwovens which have all the other characteristics you would expect from clothing that is suitable for daily use. The materials are flexible, and thus adapt to movements and changes in posture. In addition, they are air-permeable, meaning they do not interfere with the natural breathing of the skin.

The combination of these properties is based on a special production process. In contrast to common methods of production, metal wires were not inserted into finished textiles. Rather, the scientists modified classical electro-spinning, which has been used to produce nonwovens for many years: short electro-spun polymer fibres and small amounts of tiny silver wires with a diameter of only 80 nanometres are mixed in a liquid. Afterwards, they are filtered, dried, and briefly heated up. If the composition is right, the resulting nonwoven material exhibits a very high degree of electrical conductivity.

This opens up a whole range of possibilities for innovative applications, especially in the area of smart clothes (i.e. wearables). Everyday clothing, for example, can be equipped with solar cells such that the captured sunlight is converted to warmth, heating up the textiles themselves. Mobile phones, cameras, mini-computers, and other wearable electronic devices could be charged by plugging them into the textiles. Sensors installed in the clothes could provide athletes and trainers with important fitness and health data or could give family and friends information on its location. “In addition to articles of clothing, similar functions could also just as easily be installed in textile materials for use in seats and instruments in cars or airplanes,” explained Prof. Dr. Andreas Greiner, Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry II at the University of Bayreuth. “Our approach, which takes the production of conductive textiles as its basis, can in principle be applied to many different systems,” added Steffen Reich, doctoral researcher and lead author of the new study. As an example, he cites current Bayreuth research projects on microbial fuel cells, which could eventually be used as electrodes in such nonwoven materials.

The research findings that were published in npj Flexible Electronics resulted from close cooperation between the University of Bayreuth, Donghua University in Shanghai, and Nanjing Forestry University. It was only two years ago that the University of Bayreuth signed a cooperation agreement with Donghua University, which has had a research priority on the research and development of textiles since the establishment of the institution. The mutual exchange in research and teaching that was agreed on is now beginning to bear fruit. .

Passing of Brian Buckingham

To All Councillors, Regional Associations, Members and Colleagues

On behalf of AMSA Office Bearers, Ralph Roytowski, Graham Choice and Marthie Raphael, Councillors and myself, I have to express our great sadness at the passing of Brian Buckingham, a stalwart and industry leader. A man of character, respect and cheerfulness who was at the forefront of the great success of the House of Monatic. He will be missed by everyone in the industry.

Paul Theron

Did you know……..

Nowadays, kimonos are worn only in very formal occasions in Japan except by sumo wrestlers, who are required to wear traditional Japanese clothes when in public.

For all the hoopla made about Fashion Week, the average fashion show is only about 10 minutes long

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