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#IWearSA: A movement to inspire a nation of local label lovers

The Wear SA Fashion Festival seeks to promote the South African clothing and textile sector - encompassing design, manufacturing, retail and consumers - by encouraging people to become 'Local Label Lovers'.

#IWearSA: A movement to inspire a nation of local label lovers
The festival operates in conjunction with the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU). It incorporates a series of events starting with the annual Fashioning the Future Workshop, followed by the ‘Fashion and all that Jazz’ gala dinner which took place on the eve of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

Fashion Forward Runway

This year, Wear SA is adding another event to its calendar with the launch of a ‘People’s Runway’. Organisers are asking members of the public, young designers, dressmakers, pattern cutters, seamstresses and anyone involved in the wider fashion industry to visit Canal Walk Shopping Centre on Saturday, 7 April dressed in their locally made outfits.

Label detectives will be patrolling the crowds expected to attend the runway, to ensure that everyone appearing on stage for the grand finale is a legitimate ‘local label lover’. There will be prizes for the best-dressed male and female members of the public as well as opportunities for an emerging menswear and ladies-wear designer to be recognised.

"The idea is to send a bold message that goes beyond the ‘local is lekker’ mantra, to ‘local first is best’. It is only by believing in and supporting locally made products, that we can break the cycle of reliance that a vast section of our population has on cheaper external goods. This is often a false economy when the quality of many so-called affordable products is compromised, leading to more frequent replacement," says Wear SA.

#IWearSA: A movement to inspire a nation of local label lovers

Stimulating a sustainable industry

Wear SA says it's a movement that seeks to include everyone in the conversation, making all South Africans aware of the importance of buying clothing and textile products made in the country.

South Africa has a proud fashion history, with some of the country’s designers enjoying global acclaim. But the local manufacturers and retailers, and those who keep the lifecycle going, also need to be acknowledged.

“In his State of the Nation speech, President Ramaphosa alluded to the need to support and build a robust clothing and textile sector,” said Wayne Van Der Rheede, spokesperson for Wear SA. “We want to thank President Ramaphosa for his support and show him we mean business, too, by calling on as many South Africans to come and walk the Wear SA Fashion Forward Runway with us in April.”

“By buying locally made items, we as South Africans are helping to stimulate a sustainable industry that supports many thousands of workers across the country. We speak about this often, but now it is time for us all to take this on board and actually do it,” continued Van Der Rheede.

Image supplied.
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The Wear SA Fashion Forward People’s Runway will take place in the Centre Court at Canal Walk Shopping Centre on Saturday, 7 April at 2pm.

Wear SA designers involved in the showcase include:

- Blue Collar White Collar
- Magents
- X94
- Lusee
- Yaone Refentse
- Elle Collection
- Isabel de Villiers Clothing
- DOD Democracy of Denim

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