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#BizTrends2020: More tech, eco initiatives & homegrown championing for SA fashion

Let's take a look at what we can expect from the South African fashion industry in 2020.

Sustainability an even greater focus

We still see local designers adopting sustainability and we agree that this is an urgent need and natural fabrics are grown more organically, minimising the impact on our ozone layer. It will, however, take quite some time for us to see the impact in South Africa.

#BizTrends2020: More tech, eco initiatives & homegrown championing for SA fashion

We are, however, very pleased to find that bigger fashion influencers such as SA Fashion Week devised a five-year plan to commit to sustainability. Director of SAFW (SA Fashion Week) Lucilla Booyzen believes that collective efforts from local designers and retailers will assist in the attempts of damage control going forward.

This will take conscious and purposeful action and awareness creation, as we have quite a long way to go before we see the impact of change.  Although there is still awareness of sustainability in SA there is still a long way to go before we truly see the results or impact of change in SA.

3D artificial options

As the 3D garment simulation continues, Figure Forms supplies its forms as options in virtual avatars. These avatars are matched to the customer’s required garment fit standards and the customer is able to have an accurate virtual 3D overview of the possible fit of their garments, and alleviate possible fit problems which may occur.

#BizTrends2020: More tech, eco initiatives & homegrown championing for SA fashion
#BizTrends2020: More tech, eco initiatives & homegrown championing for SA fashion

Consistency in shape distribution, body posture, and fit is achieved and ensures consistency across supply chain from concept to garment  and final quality assurance (QA). Figure Forms is working in conjunction with many of the leading garment simulation systems to bring these solutions to our customers when required.

Intelligent access to designer information

The use of technology not only helps to reduce time and waste but has become a key method of translating messages from designer to consumer. This encourages greater transparency of ethical information and helps the consumer to get to know the designer better.

LMVH winner Thebe Magugu, teamed up with Verisium, a Russian technology company that created a chip, which Magugu uses in his garments and consumers simply access the garment information via their cellphones.

#BizTrends2020: More tech, eco initiatives & homegrown championing for SA fashion
#BizTrends2020: More tech, eco initiatives & homegrown championing for SA fashion

CEO of EON, a global technology and recycle centre, believes that recycling bins will be used not only for glass but also old shirts. Their centre will turn the fabric into fibres and reduce water wastage and Ozone damage often found in the production of manmade fibres.

Brick-and-mortar stores remain relevant

Although there is a growing percentage of online shopping, in a study conducted show that 70% of customers still prefer going into stores, but still desire a convenient shopping experience. On average the return rate for online shopping is more or less 25% vs the return rate for physical stores is 16%. There is still a need for a physical store.

#BizTrends2020: More tech, eco initiatives & homegrown championing for SA fashion

A recent survey done at the LIM College, concluded that the Gen Z generation still prefers in-store shopping to online browsing. As most of them do not own credit cards and prefer the social gratification of shopping malls. Gen Z is the next generation of influencers and is more aware of their fashion preferences.

More local development opportunities

Chinese markets becoming are difficult to trade with and there is a continued urge to grow continued support for local designers and opportunities for SMEs. The DAC and Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) create business opportunities for SA emerging designers to exhibit their work at numerous global platforms. Other opportunities include skills development programmes, like the Designer Indaba Emerging Creatives programme – which assists 40 creatives annually.

About Meagan Duckitt

Meagan is a fashion designer, stylist, writer and public speaker. She owns a small clothing business called Calista Clothing and enjoys using her knowledge to empower women.
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