In The News | 20 October 2022

Garment worker abuse uncovered in Ethiopia, Shelflife scores pioneering Nike co-lab and Africa shines on the BoF 500

In The News | 20 October 2022
Jordan x Shelflife collection campaign and Shelflife founder Nick Herbert | Supplied, Shelflife

A note: SA Fashion Week starts today, and I'll be there! If you will too, please say hi. I'll be sourcing stories at the shows and at the trade show on Monday (and somewhat aggressively pushing as many people as possible to subscribe on the spot). I'm looking for insight into the return on investment designers and brands get from participating considering SAFW's unique focus on access to market, and for any interesting approaches to solving common problems.


Fred Galley for BoF | Sourced

The continent shines on the updated BoF 500, with 7 industry leaders added to the influence index this year:

They join Africans like Lisa Folawiyo, Omoyemi Akerele and Adrian Joffe on the now 1,193-member list.

[A few others from Egypt, Senegal and Sierra Leone who joined the list in 2022 aren't included above as they work outside African fashion's ecosystem.]

Fashionomics Africa's accelerator & incubator programs for African Fashion, Textile, Apparel and Accessories entrepreneurs and businesses are taking applications until the 23rd of October.

Fashionomics Africa

The Hawassa Industrial Park was supposed to make Ethiopia a new global supply chain link for Western apparel. The idea was to leverage duty-free access for its exports through America's African Growth and Opportunity Act. Ethiopia was disqualified by the act's terms in late 2021 for alleged human rights abuses, and an investigation into the industrial park has revealed a culture of sexual coercion, abuse of power, and without an enforced minimum wage policy, negligible pay.

The Dark Side of Ethiopia’s Export Boom
Workers report sexual coercion and poor conditions at the Hawassa Industrial Park.

Birimian Ventures has announced the incoming 2022 designer cohort for their accelerator program, run in collaboration with IFM.

Paul Collier asks and answers how developed markets with an abundance of capital and the African continent's eager entrepreneurs and abundance of unemployed youth might come together for Africa's good.

Global capital and young workers can power transition in Africa
Continent needs businesses that can raise finance to invest and are competent enough to reap the gains from scale and specialisation

Nigerian brand Nkwo took home the Bicester Collection Award for Emerging Designers at the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards in Italy.

MAJOR: Nkwo Onwuka Wins Big at the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards 2022 | BN Style
Over the weekend, the biggest names in fashion came together at La Scala opera house in Italy for the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards to discuss and honour fashion’s sustainability movement. One of the honorees, Nkwo Onwuka, founder and creative director of Nigerian sustainable fashion brand Nkwko c…

South Africa

The Jordan x Shelflife range will be available at Shelflife in store on 20 October in Cape Town and Johannesburg and online from 21 October. In addition to the sneakers, retailing at R3,899, the Jordan x Shelflife range includes a TEAM ONLY range of clothing. The range will be distributed globally through Jordan’s top tier neighbourhood boutique partners and the Nike SNKRS app globally in October 2022.

Shelflife lands Nike's first African Co-Lab

After being invited to pitch, 16-year-old South African sneaker outlet Shelflife won one of 3 coveted spots for the 'International Flight Club' pack, a celebration of Jordan fans in underrepresented markets. The JORDAN X SHELFLIFE collection, called TEAM ONLY, has been in development for 2 years. It includes a Jordan 2 style with the Shelflife team's signatures on the inner sole and an apparel range they co-designed.

“We pretty much had free range on the colours and materials we wanted to work with. We came up with the concept of focusing on the Shelflife team that makes it happen; to capture the essence of the team who show up each day to make sure the product gets to market,” says Nick Herbert, Founder and Creative Director of Shelflife.

The Jordan Brand was born with the release of the Air Jordan Sneaker in 1985 with basketball legend Michael Jordan. 37 years later, it earns $3 million every five hours for Nike. [Press release, Letterhead]

Cape Union Mart joins South Africa's clothing retail growth race with a design studio it plans to use to get to majority local manufacture by 2028, and a fully sponsored, SETA-accredited accelerator programme for technical garment making skills at the CTFC's Fashion Institute of Garment Technology.

Cape Union Mart Group launches design studio to drive localisation
With a goal to produce 65% of products locally by 2028, Cape Union Mart Group has launched the Green Thread Studio, a creative hub to facilitate the growth of local clothing design and production...
2023 accelerator programme in garment making open for application
Applications for Colours of a Kind’s 2023 accelerator programme - a SETA-accredited programme aimed at aspirant young designers who want to obtain a qualification - are open...

Johannesburg-based Creative Director Bee Diamondhead brought 13 multidisciplinary African artists — including 2 fashion designers — to the Standard Bank Gallery in the We Are Culture exhibition.

Bee Diamondhead on her curation of the Standard Bank Gallery’s new show
The internationally renowned visionary curates a diverse and empowering exhibition featuring the works of 13 young artists

Reebok collaborates with Nao Serati brand on a limited edition pride month collection, the latest in the recent stream of global sportswear/SA designer collaborations.

Reebok and South African Brand Nao Serati Unveil Expressive Pride Collaboration
This Announcement Comes in Anticipation of South African Pride Month in October (BOSTON) September 30, 2022 – Today Reebok and South African athleisure brand Nao Serati unveil a footwear and...

A R300m SMME Crisis Partnership Fund has been set up by the Gauteng provincial government, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the SA SME Fund. Its goal is to provide access to capital for the portion of the 2 million small businesses in South Africa that are locked out of the banking sector's options with a special focus on economic inclusion for townships and their entrepreneurs. SME Fund principal Claudia Manning says the fund is sector agnostic, but Daily Maverick's coverage of the announcement reveals the actions taken so far weigh heaviest in housing and construction.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Multimillion SMME fund launched in Gauteng to encourage entrepreneurship
The R300m SMME Crisis Partnership Fund for small businesses in the province will help homeowners build residential units for rental and ‘float’ other entrepreneurs to enable them to take on bigger projects.

Woolworths announces a minimum wage increase for store workers and appoints Brian Mtongana to Executive Creative Director role.

Woolworths names Brian Mtongana as executive creative director
Woolworths has appointed Brian Mtongana as executive creative director as the retailer looks to bolster its marketing leadership team...
Woolworths to hike store worker minimum wages by 24% to R41 per hour by 2023 | Fin24
For the past year, its CEO earned a cool R33 million, including a performance bonus of more than R15 million.

The Folklore asks how sustainable practice can be better folded into the industry's talent pipelines, starting with fashion students.

Can Fashion Education Influence Sustainable Practices in Design?
Most conversations about sustainability in fashion usually involve designers, journalists and consumers. Is it time to include the fashion education system and students?

TFG bought Tesla powerwalls (reportedly approx. R150k a pop) to mitigate loadshedding losses and minimise power bills when the grid's actually working. The purchase makes the group Tesla's biggest South African customer.

Foschini-owner TFG becomes biggest SA client of Musk’s Tesla Powerwall to beat load shedding | Fin24
Foschini and Jet owner TFG is now the biggest local customer of SA-born billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla as it pilots batteries to beat the impact of load shedding on its stores.


Elsewhere, Pharrell launches JOOPITER platform to auction off 20 years of pop culture history from his and others' personal collections, SHEIN catches fire in new undercover report on factory conditions and pay, Tim Noakes discusses the evolution of the 'neural fever dream' that is the modern fashion film, the industry rethinks fashion's approach to impact data and its discussion, and Fashion Values launches a global call out for change-making products, services & systems bringing innovation to fashion design, media and/or tech.

Shein: Fast-fashion workers paid 3p per garment for 18-hour days, undercover filming reveals
Conditions in two factories - making the kinds of clothes sold to British shoppers for as little as £1.49 - have been secretly recorded
Fashion Values
The Fashion Values Challenge is a global call-out for change-making products, services and systems.
Everything must go — Pharrell Williams is selling off his legacy
In an exclusive interview, the musician, producer and innovator explains why he’s auctioning 20 years’ worth of sneakers, watches and jewellery via his latest business venture, Joopiter
Brett Mathews on LinkedIn: It’s all about the data - Apparel Insider
Stats about fashion’s global impact are wrong – here’s why
Misinformation and fake news are undermining fashion’s sustainability progress
Is Fashion Ready For The Second Age Of Sustainability? - The Interline
Tightening regulations and sweeping 2030 sustainability targets will define a second age of sustainability. How can fashion brands compete?
The Evolution of Fashion Film by Tim Noakes | D&AD Annual 2022
Tim Noakes writes a pit-stop tour of the genre of fashion film, from the 1960s to the present day.

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