Woolworths placed the spotlight on sustainable fashion at this year's SA Fashion Week with the launch of a sustainable capsule collection.
This year’s Style by SA collection features the work of 10 local fashion designers and collectives – four of which have been commissioned by Woolworths to produce pieces made using sustainable fibres.
The Better Cotton collection
Local fashion frontrunners, Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu, Selfi and AKJP, have conceptualised and designed a range made from Better Cotton. The cotton has been sourced from the SADC region and has undergone a dyeing process that uses only eco-friendly chemicals. Better Cotton has been developed as a sustainable solution by the ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ (BCI) programme. BCI works to transform cotton production worldwide by advocating for the well being of the people who produce it, and the environment in which it grows.
The capsule collection taps into some of the season’s key new directions, which includes blue and white striped shirting set off with accent hues of orange, cobalt and candy pink.
Joining The Better Cotton collection in the ranks are the Glam and Resort collections, which together make up the complete Style by SA capsule.
"This year, we have taken four of the incredibly creative and dynamic fashion designers from the original capsule collection and added six more talented designers – Gert-Johan Coetzee, Cleo Droomer, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Sindiso Khumalo, Reggie Xaba (iFele) and Ephraim Molingoana (Ephymol) – to deliver three proudly South African ranges on the runway: The Glam Capsule, The Resort Capsule and a Woolworths first, The Better Cotton Capsule," says Thateng Shimange, Woolworths general manager, Womensworld.
An immersive installation
Woolworths also created an installation to be showcased at SAFW, designed and produced with people and the planet in mind. The installation features BCI cotton sheeting accented with raw BCI cotton slivers, which will be donated to The Clothing Bank to help empower unemployed South African women. From the indigenous water-wise plants to the scaffolding, Woolworths says each element of the activation space has been carefully considered in terms of minimising waste and ensuring the option of recycling or re-use in the supply chain.
For the upcoming Spring/Summer season, the retailer uses more than 2,800 tons of organic or sustainable cotton, and over 380 tonnes of fibre made from either recycled polyester produced from plastic bottles or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved Viscose.
Woolworths was recently ranked #40 in Fortune magazine’s third annual 'Change the World' list – the only African company to make the grade – and has been selected as an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).
The new Style by SA collection is available online and in selected stores.