For venture capitalists to consider investing more in South African fashion designers and supply chain, the industry needs a stringent financial organisational structure and strategic mentorship of the nation’s top talents. This is where not-for-profit South African Fashion Council comes in.
Founded in 2012, not-for-profit South African Fashion Council aims to help build on the strengths of South Africa’s fashion industry in order to utilise existing opportunities in the country to grow fashion brands, to grow retail market share and to use fashion as a catalyst for job creation and poverty alleviation. The council also recognises and reduces the challenges that exist around market access, brand exposure, raw material availability, production processes, skill sets, education, export opportunities and a shared vision for Fashion in South Africa. The need is real. “I travel a lot and I find people in the US and Europe are fascinated by African designs and want to see more of it,” Hanneli Rupert, the owner of boutique Merchants on Long, tells BoF. “But we are so geographically distant that young designers don’t have easy access to the international market. Because of our competing fashion weeks, buyers from abroad don’t know when to come here. We need to find ways around this as now is the time to expand, while African design is on everyone’s radar.”
‘Together we can make South African Fashion a dynamic leader for the continent and a force to be reckoned with globally.’
To use fashion as a catalyst to contribute to South African economy.
The South African Fashion Council is a not-for profit company, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, to support and improve the region’s fashion, textile, footwear, leather and leather-goods value chains. The council aims is to develop the South African fashion industry in conjunction with its stakeholders including fashion designers, retailers, design houses, manufacturers, educational institutions, regional fashion councils, organised labour, national government and the fashion media.