Home Press Releases Archived 2008 SA Clothing Industry Set to Face Challenges through Innovation and Increased Productivity
SA Clothing Industry Set to Face Challenges through Innovation and Increased Productivity PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 May 2008 16:43

 

Press release: 6 May 2008


THE imposition of import quotas in 2007 has resulted in a 12 percent drop in total clothing imports, including a 31% reduction in clothing imports from China alone, and created breathing space for the industry to deal head on with the twin challenge of increased competiveness and modernisation that will ultimately ensure its' long-term survival, said Ebrahim Patel, general secretary of the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union at the annual Fashion Imbizo in Cape Town today.

“Over the last few years, SACTWU has focused on five key initiatives nationally to address the core drivers of increased competitiveness which include product innovation, the identification of niche markets and manufacturing flexibility,” Patel said.

The positive results achieved at two such Cape-based initiatives, the Performance Improvement Project (PIP) at lingerie manufacturer, Charmfit and the workplace restructuring project at Levi Strauss SA were highlighted during the morning session.

At Charmfit, a significant manufacturer employing almost 1,000 workers, an underwear line facing cancellation and resultant job losses was transformed into a profit generator worth R40 million retail value through a joint labour and management problem-solving process whereby shop floor-driven solutions addressed issues of productivity, attendance and quality.

“A garment which took 5 minutes to make now takes 3 minutes allowing us to produce 3500 per day,” said Ian Taverner, general manager of Charmfit.

The SPEAR project, develop and implemented jointly by Levi Strauss SA and SACTWU, resulted in a 43 percent gain in efficiency from 70 to 100 percent and significant enough improvements in quality and productivity to allow the local facility to outperform its global peers, said managing director VRM Raju.

According to Patel, these case studies are examples of the collaborative labour and business strategies that will be key to secure the future sustainability of a flourishing South African clothing industry.

“A growing clothing sector is particularly relevant to the country's job creation imperatives and more so in that this industry exceeds the economy's average job creation capability by as much as three times.”

The Fashion Imbizo serves as the business discussion forum of the two-week long Cape Town Fashion Festival, initiated and steered by SACTWU for the past six years, with the aim of promoting the local clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) industry

The Cape Town Fashion Festival is sponsored by the Western Cape Provincial Government, the City of Cape Town , Proudly SA, industry SETAs and Sanlam.

Caption for Visual:

Stars in stripes. Models showed the latest looks from Cape-based manufacturer, House of Monatic's Carducci menswear range during the SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union Fashion Imbizo today. (Pic: Ig Nothnagel)

 

Issued by: Estelle Cooper. Cooper Public Relations. Tel: +27 11 705 1714 Fax: 086 632 8005 mobile:  +27 82 55 74818

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For more info, call: Etienne Vlok and Fachmy Abrahams, Fashion Festival Coordinators, SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu). Tel: 021 4474570 Fax: 021 4474593 Mobile : 082 4480506 (Etienne) or 073 3067605 (Fachmy).

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