Worldview: South African Designers Trial New Business Models

🇿🇦 South African designers pivot to ‘slow fashion’ business models. Lucilla Booyzen, founder and chief executive of South African Fashion Week, which took place in Johannesburg from Oct. 19 – 23, recently said that the majority of the event participants are now guided by a ‘slow fashion’ ethos that opposes ‘disposable seasonality’, including low carbon fabrication, local sourcing and recycled, upcycled or dead stock materials. Among them, she highlighted “each of the nine designers in the Mr. Price Scouting Menswear competition” as well as more established brands such as Helon Melon, Bam Collective, Munkus, Michael Ludwig and “industry stalwarts” like Black Coffee, Rubicon and Ephymol. [BoF Inbox, IOL]

🇪🇬 Egyptian textile industry set to receive $101 million from Chinese investors. Walid Gamal El-Din, chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCEZ), signed agreements this month with Hengsheng Dying Zhejiang Company, Shaoxing Yuding Textile Company, Shengzhou Captain Industrial & Trading and Indochine Holdings to build, expand or upgrade manufacturing facilities in Egypt’s West Qantara Industrial Zone, focused on exporting textile products mostly to the US and European markets. Earlier this year, SCEZ secured a $28.5 million injection from Shanghai Shengda. [Zawya]

🇧🇩 Global brands urge Bangladesh to raise garment workers’ minimum wage. Fifteen companies including Adidas, Gap Inc., Hugo Boss, Levi Strauss & Co., Lululemon, Patagonia, Puma, Calvin Klein owner PVH Corp. and Under Armour have signed a letter to prime minister Sheikh Hasina, calling for a wage increase to cover high inflation and allow for discretionary income on top of garment workers’ basic needs. In 2019, the monthly wage increased to 8,000 taka ($72.60) but factory employees said it wasn’t enough. The world’s second-largest exporter of clothing, Bangladesh employs more than 4 million workers in its garment industry. [Sourcing Journal]

🇧🇷 Francisco Costa plans to buy back the Costa Brazil brand. Through his company FCIP Holdco, LLC., Costa has made a bid to buy back the Brazilian skin care, hair care and fragrance line he founded in 2018, BoF’s The Business of Beauty has learned. In court documents filed Wednesday, Costa has offered Amyris, its former parent company, $350,000 for the brand’s intellectual property rights, trademarks, website domains and social media handles. Amyris closed Costa Brazil and several other brands in August before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. [BoF]

🇸🇦 Riyadh Fashion Week debuts in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Financial District. The inaugural edition of the event was held between Oct 20 -23, featuring names like Paris-based couture brand Ashi Studio designed by Saudi-born Mohammed Ashi, streetwear brand 1886, Abadia, Youssef Akbar, Atelier Hekayat, designed by sisters Abeer and Alia Oraif and Honayda Serafi, who cast Somali-American model Halima Aden to walk for a show inspired by Rayyanah Barnawi, a female astronaut and the first Saudi woman to go to space. Burak Cakmak, CEO of the Saudi Fashion Commission, described the event as “the next step in our efforts to build the full value chain in the country,” [Arab News, The National]

🇨🇳 China’s fashion exports decline by more than 9% in Jan-Sep period. Textiles, garment and accessory exports fell to $223.147 billion this year, from $246.55 billion in the same period last year. The textile category was slightly harder hit, falling 10.3 percent, than the garment category, which declined 8.8 percent. [Fibre2Fashion]

🇮🇳 Advisers say Reliance Industries shareholders should reject Anant Ambani. Proxy advisers backed the appointment of chairman Mukesh Ambani’s two older children, Akash and Isha, to the company board, but they argued that his youngest son, Anant, is too inexperienced to be a non-executive non-independent director at India’s largest company by market capitalisation. However, despite the objection to the business mogul’s succession plan, Anant is likely to be voted in to the oil-to-telecoms conglomerate, a leading player in India’s fashion industry through Reliance Retail Ventures holdings, international fashion brand distribution partnerships, investments in local designer brands, e-commerce sites and a luxury mall. [Financial Times]

🇮🇷 Iran Fashion Summit debuts at International Apparel Exhibition Iran Mode. Presented by the Iran Fashion Brand Association (IFBA) and led by its CEO Alireza Saffari, the event was held between Oct. 15-18 in Tehran, covering design, HR, technology, retail and branding in conjunction with the summit secretary Nima Zoghi. This year, 350 domestic companies and 100 foreign companies across the clothing, textiles, accessories and shoes categories participated in the 11th edition of the IAEIM trade show. [Parastoo Nabati for BoF]

🇨🇳 Canada Goose shares plunge after downgrade over China economy concerns. The luxury outerwear company’s shares fell to an all-time low on Thursday after analysts downgraded it and cut its price target due to a less favourable holiday season outlook and economic headwinds in China, a key market for the company’s expansion plans. [Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg]

🇿🇦 Amazon reveals plans to launch online marketplace in South Africa next year. The move, which has been welcomed by fashion and accessory SMEs like Johannesburg-based African Mamas Crafts, confirms what retail industry insiders suspected for years after they saw job adverts and heard leaks about local distribution centres. “The launch of in 2024 will provide independent sellers throughout the country an opportunity to rapidly launch, grow and scale their businesses,” said the company’s general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Robert Koen. [News 24]

🇮🇳 Indian entrepreneurs move into ‘textile tourism’ to tap growing market. Shilpa Sharma from Breakway, Shoba George from Extra Mile and Priyanka Chabblani from Alphonso Stories are among the boutique travel agencies offering new services like tours to local textile museums, masterclasses with experts and the liaising of professional relationships and leisure experiences with the diverse array of heritage weavers, knitters, embroiders and other craftspeople who make up India’s artisanal fashion supply chain. [The Established]

🇨🇳 China’s livestream commerce bubble is beginning to burst. As shoppers in China’s slowing economy cut back, livestream sellers across categories are seeing their earnings plummet while their employers push them to work longer hours and even start experimenting with AI livestreamers. [Rest of the World]

🇮🇳 Nars is opening its first freestanding Indian store in New Delhi. After entering the India market on Oct. 10 at Shoppers Stop and Sephora, both online and in select stores, Nars has announced plans to open a free-standing boutique next month at the Select CityWalk shopping centre in the Indian capital. [BoF]

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