March 2020 Newsletter

March 2020 Newsletter

Dear Sector Stakeholder,

With all that is taking place locally and in the world currently, it is important that during this time clear communication is maintained.

This Newsletter aims to update you on changes and developments that are underway.

Kindly note that the whole SAMC team has moved to remote working, and are fully operational.

It is imperative that we all find ways to continue to progress in business, to limit impact on our economy and employment in South Africa.  It is therefore critical that we all find innovative ways to continue doing the work we all need to do.  We will be practicing “business as usual” principles and intend on taking advantage of a higher level of productivity given less travel to meetings.  We will be using technology to our full advantage to ensure that we can still continue to make the necessary contribution & progress, and so that when this difficult phase passes that we are in a better position than before.

With the above in mind, we will be reaching out and scheduling virtual meetings in we have not done so already.

Please join us in our approach, and let’s make progress together.

We do appreciate that this will present a host of challenges to companies, and recommend you invest time into understanding what support you qualify for from the government.  We have shared a link here that gives advice and outlines some of the measures being taken to assist companies during this time:

Additionally, and for your interest – Twyg is a not-for-profit company inspiring and supporting a modern, eco-conscious and forward-thinking lifestyle.  They recently launched a petition to the government to appeal for interventions to help save small businesses.  Click here to learn more and sign the petition:

South Africa is the global leader in mohair production – and Mohair South Africa (MSA) worked together with Textile Exchange to pursue the development of Responsible Mohair Standard to drive a sustainable and ethical mohair industry.

On the 19 March 2020 MSA announced the launch of the Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS), developed by the global non-profit Textile Exchange.

MSA will now focus its energy on the development of plans to execute the RMS across the whole value chain. The journey travelled to reach this position has been significant, and MSAhas played an important role in this substantial achievement.  SAMC will continue to support MSA in their endeavours to drive a sustainable and ethical industry.

In our last communication we announced our plans to partner with some of South Africa’s finest design talent through a collaboration with SA Fashion Week. We also highlighted that while the programme is ultimately designer-led, the focus will be to utilise their collections to drive increased mohair conversion locally, through value chain and market development.  Designers have begun developing their collections in preparation to launch at the Spring/Summer ’20 show end April.

Given the imminent nationwide lockdown on South Africa, there have been questions around how SAFW intend to host the Spring/Summer ’20 season show.

It is the intention of SA Fashion Week to remain “creative” & “fluid” within their planning.  Designers have been asked to continue to progress where possible and to utilise digital communication means whilst preparing their collections. They have also been asked to invest substantial time into their plans for when the lockdown is lifted, so that when the time arises they will be prepared.

In a recent interview with Jackie May for the Twyg Blog, Lucilla explained that they would be postponing the event until such time as it was certain that no one would be in any potential danger. She also highlighted her belief that although a tragic situation, the positive side of the circumstances is that it compels people to think creatively and provides new perspective on the normal way of doing business. SAFW will be focusing energy on telling the behind-the-scenes stories of the designers and the journeys of their collections through various social media. It’s of critical importance to SAFW that these designers are able to show their Summer Collections and deliver to stores by August this year. For more on this please visit the Twyg blog:

SAFW will monitor developments closely and will quickly spring into gear to launch the show approximately 3 weeks from the date that the lockdown is lifted (the same length of time we would have had to prepare if the show were to continue on its intended date).

SAMC is pleased to announce the launch of the collaboration title, “The Diamond Fibre Collections – Mohair” to represent the three designers’ collections that will show at SA Fashion Week in due course.

While its still early in the programme, we have already received support from Luxury Fabrics UK through the sponsorship of raw materials.  We wish to extend sincere thanks on behalf of the designers.  We are also in the process of finalising sponsorship opportunities to extend to the broader industry allowing other businesses and brands to be involved and to support the programme.  This proposal will be circulated in the coming weeks.

We will keep you informed of any developments relating to this programme.

Based on demand seen from many South African tertiary education institutions, SAMC has been for the last while, developing mohair related content to share with university heads to disseminate to their lecturers and students.  This initiative aims to drive improved levels of awareness in younger generations that we understand to know very little about the mohair fibre currently.

Since the content will be provided to varying types of tertiary education institutions, for programmes ranging from technical textiles to more fashion orientated variants – consideration has been given to what content is included to ensure high levels of relevance to the lecturers and their students.

The hope is to provide local and global universities with information packs that cover content relating to the history of mohair in South Africa, physical properties of mohair and suitable applications, the mohair value chain, global fashion trends, transformation in sector and sustainability.

The information has been compiled from research conducted by Dr Lawrance Hunter & Anton Botha, Professory Adine Gericke,  as well as inputs from WGSN – global trend authority in fashion and lifestyle.

The content should be finalised and ready for sharing by the end of April 2020, and content will be sent to the following local institutions:

Please look after yourselves your families and clients for us to all stay healthy.