In the News | 14 March 2024

From Renewcell’s bankruptcy to the possible sale of Superbalist, ultra fast fashion triggers upending events.

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First thoughts

From Renewcell’s bankruptcy to the possible sale of Superbalist, fashion is experiencing a wave of upending events. Even with the distance between these two events, they share a trigger plate: ultra fast fashion.

It has played an obviously detrimental role in the painfully slow global uptake of new-gen materials like the ones Renewcell offers. It’s also a serious enough threat to South African fashion e-commerce outfit Superbalist that Takealot is considering a sale just 10 years after acquiring it.

The rise of ultra fast fashion raises some serious questions about the industry’s future. In particular, I’m wondering: Where in these shifts is the opportunity for independent brands? Is it in joining initiatives like SHEIN X, a designer collaboration and incubation program? In textile innovation that’s hard to replicate, like Diakwu Cloth? Or in a positioning push into the already crowded, difficult and expensive luxury sector? There has to be one, because no shift is made up exclusively of negative results.

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Across Africa

Takealot explores the sale of Superbalist, Temu hits top 3 download spot in Android and Apple app markets in its first month in South Africa, unemployed South Africans find new opportunity in dropshipping, and CNN spotlights Veldskoen.


US fashion reflects on the Superbowl, Zofia Zwieglinska lays out an autopsy of circular fashion startup Renewcell’s bankruptcy filing and BoF looks for the financing models that fuel the industry’s sustainable transition.

A final note: My thanks to the Fashion Law Institute of Nigeria for including me on their inaugural list of the Top 100 Women in African Fashion.

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