Fashion with a conscience was on show at UWC at the weekend, where students spoke up against gender-based violence while promoting local designs. Picture: Yazeed Kamaldien/Supplied
Cape Town - Fashion with a conscience was on show at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) at the weekend, where students spoke up against gender-based violence while promoting local designs.

UWC students partnered with the Wear South African campaign to present their AwearSA Fashion Show at the main hall on campus on Saturday night.

The aim was to encourage the audience to buy locally produced clothes.

Wear SA is a project of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu), which aims to strengthen the local manufacturing industry.

UWC’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation spearheaded the fashion show, with all ticket sales going to the Rise against Hunger campaign.

The latter provides meals to students, many of whom depend on bursaries to cover their daily needs.

Fashion with a conscience was on show at UWC at the weekend, where students spoke up against gender-based violence while promoting local designs. Picture: Yazeed Kamaldien/Supplied

Apart from being a platform for student fashion design talent, the AwearSA show also included local singers, musicians and hip hop dancers. Musical performances spoke out against gender-based violence, and the slogan “What I Wear Does Not Give You the Right To My Body” appeared on a big screen as models took to the runway.

The fashion show was the culmination of a project involving at least 100 students, from across various university faculties, participating in an intensive weekend boot camp as well as a six-week programme to learn about aspects of the local textile and design industry.

Charleen Duncan, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said they were working with students to build an effective “buy local” strategy that “stimulates the clothing and textile industry to the extent that it creates thousands of sustainable new jobs and attracts the patronage of loyal local consumers”.

Explaining the strategy, Duncan said this would require “local suppliers to competitively provide alternatives to importing components at every stage of the value chain”.

“Capital also needs to be unlocked to invest in new production facilities. This includes banks and the government increasing their appetite for risk, and regulators reducing red tape and other barriers to entry in the sector,” said Duncan.

@yazkam

Cape Argus