South African Fashion Week has committed itself to a five-year plan to spearhead the development of an ecologically based and sustainable local design culture.
Lucilla Booyzen, director of the country’s premier platform for South African design, said that the immediate goal is to initiate a process of collaboration and joint problem-solving with the designer community and the broader clothing industry in the hope of establishing a local fashion ethos that supports people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measures.
“In this we subscribe to the values articulated by the international Fashion Revolution movement and support the ground-breaking work that this organisation is doing to turn the enormous power and influence of fashion into a positive force,” said Booyzen.
According to Fashion Revolution, Americans throw away approximately 14 million tons of garments each year or approximately 36kg per person of which 84% either went into a landfill or an incinerator while The Carbon Trust says that approximately 3% of global production of CO2 emissions derive from clothing.
To achieve the goal of creating a sustainable local design culture by 2015, Booyzen says she will use SAFW's established initiatives such as the New Talent Search, the Cape Wool SA Designer Challenge and the SAFW Student competition, to reduce the fashion industry’s harmful impact.
SAFW will also use organisations such as Twyg,the online sustainable lifestyle magazine’s Sustainable Fashion Awards which will be announced for the first time this year, to extend their influence and reach.
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In other news, Thebe Magugu scooped the prestigious 2019 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. He will receive €300 000 (R4.9 million) and enjoy a one-year mentorship programme provided by a dedicated LVMH team.