It’s time to stand up and be seen …in South African designed and made clothing.
This is the call to action of the Wear SA Fashion Festival, a campaign that seeks to promote the South African clothing and textile sector, encompassing design, manufacturing, retail and consumers, encouraging them to become ‘Local Label Lovers’.
The Wear SA Fashion Festival is in conjunction with the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU). It incorporates a series of events starting with the annual Fashioning the Future Workshop, followed by the ‘Fashion and all that Jazz’ gala dinner that took place on the eve of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. This year, Wear SA will add another event to its growing calendar with the launch of a ‘People’s Runway’.
“In his State of the Nation speech, President Ramaphosa alluded to the need to support and build a robust clothing and textile sector,” said Wayne Van Der Rheede, spokesperson for Wear SA.
“We want to thank President Ramaphosa for his support and show him we mean business, too, by calling on as many South Africans to come and walk the Wear SA Fashion Forward Runway with us in April.”
Wear SA is a movement that seeks to include everyone in the conversation. It desires to make all South Africans aware of the importance of buying clothing and textile products made in South Africa. To that end, organisers are asking members of the public, young designers, dressmakers, pattern cutters, seamstresses and anyone involved in the wider fashion industry, to get to Canal Walk Shopping Centre on Saturday, April 7 at 14:00, to stand up for South Africa, dressed of course, in their locally made outfits.
The idea is to make a colourful statement. A bold message that goes beyond the ‘local is lekker’ mantra, to ‘local first is best’. It is only by believing in, and supporting locally made products, can we break the cycle of reliance that a vast section of our population has, on cheaper external goods. This is often a false economy when the quality of many so-called affordable products is compromised, leading to more frequent replacement.
South Africa has a proud fashion history, with some of the country’s designers taking to the international stage. But it is now the turn of the local manufacturers and retailers and those who keep the life cycle going, to be acknowledged.
“By buying locally made items, we, as South Africans, are helping to stimulate a sustainable industry that supports many thousands of workers across the country. We speak about this often, but now it is time for us all to take this on board and actually do it,” affirmed van der Rheede.
Label detectives will be patrolling the crowds expected to attend the Runway, to ensure that everyone who takes to the stage for the grand finale is a legitimate ‘local label lover’.
Beyond the colourful spectacle, there will be prizes for the best-dressed member of the public – male and female – as well as opportunities for an emerging menswear and ladies-wear designer to be recognised.
The Wear SA Fashion Forward People’s Runway will take place in the Centre Court at Canal Walk Shopping Centre on Saturday, April 7t at 14H00. It is a free event – Join the movement #IWEARSA.
The WearSA designers, currently taking to the stage are:
– Yaone Refentse
– #Elle Collection
– Isabel de Villiers Clothing
– #DOD Democracy of Denim