Local fashion design platform South African Fashion Week (SAFW) and Fashion Revolution (FR), a UK-based non-profit organization working to clean up the global fashion industry, have teamed up to further strengthen the impact of the global movement on the local industry.
The partnership is led by FR’s South Africa office in Cape Town, Cyril Naiker, and SAFW Director Lucilla Boysen, in collaboration with Special Exhibitions Consultant Josh Lowe, who is tasked with promoting SAFW’s trade show and seminar series from business to business. Like a designer pop-up consumer retail segment.
FR’s first involvement focuses on integrating the sustainable slow fashion ethos into the DNA of all SAFW competitions, including the Scouting Menswear Competition, the New Talent Search Competition and the Student Competition. FR provides critical guidance on sustainability, informs briefs and criteria and participates in all judging panels.
“Fashion Revolution has a strong global presence, and the SA office has been around for eight years. Partnering with the high-profile SAFW, now allows us to grow our fashion movement significantly and with greater visibility. It also allows us to move local projects with greater traction,” says Naiker.
Develop a culture of sustainable environmental design
SAFW released a five-year plan in 2019 to guide the development of a sustainable domestic design culture by 2025. According to Boyzen, the key is to develop collaborative networks to address issues with the design community and the wider apparel industry. A true environmental sustainability ethos that can support people, environment, innovation and profit in equal measure.
“We fully subscribe to FR’s values and our commitment to transform the immense power and influence of fashion into a positive force,” she says.
Boyzen believes that SAFW’s many established initiatives, especially popular competitions such as the search for new talent such as Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee, David Thalel and Musso Maxwell who recently won the Woolmark company’s famous Karl Lagerfeld for Innovation Award, provide an easily accessible platform to actively promote the principles of a circular economy.
This is done by incorporating critical sustainable fashion assessment criteria such as the use of low environmental impact textiles, manufacturing techniques, zero-waste cuts such as garments, knits or patterns, and the creation of a collection that is timeless and timeless. she says.
According to Naiker, South Africa cannot simply ignore the harmful effects of the current fashion system.
“While it is good for business when international retailers open stores in South Africa, there is also a fundamental challenge of transparency. Few people know what goes on behind the doors of the factories that produce clothes for international fast fashion retailers.”
“Cape Town used to be a clothing manufacturing hub, which has completely disappeared, partly due to fast fashion. The spending power is in the hands of the consumer. What will it take to restore our manufacturing? We need to get back to supporting local designers and local manufacturing,” he concluded.