Cape Town – March 30, 2016: The Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC) regretfully announces that, after 10 years of residing in Cape Town’s Central Business District, we will be relocating offices as of the 1st of April 2016. This decision forms part of a series of cost-cutting measures. Due to a steady decline in government funding, as outlined in the latest Khulisa Report, it has encouraged the relocation and the streamlining of the CTFC.
The CTFC has gained substantial momentum over the past decade - executing many successful initiatives and projects aimed at growing the fashion industry in the Western Cape and throughout South Africa with tangible results achieved. CTFC’s membership has increased substantially peaking above 1400 members (650 SMME designer members, 450 design student members, 70 media members and 250 industry members) and totals over 20 000 members across our social networks. The CTFC has assisted with the growth of multiple clothing, footwear and accessory designer labels over the past years by implementing and improving skills development, youth development, market development, enterprise development and product development.
“Over the past few of years alone, the CTFC has, with key partners, managed to assist over 650 SMME’s, expand over 100 businesses, host over 60 industry events and develop critical skills of more than 650 designer members. In addition, the Technology Station / Incubation space currently assists over 50 SMME’s per quarter. Unfortunately, as part of the relocation process, it will be shut-down until further notice - depriving many entrepreneurs in the industry of a vital resource” says CTFC CEO, Bryan Ramkilawan. “The CTFC will, however, continue to cultivate partnerships with leading fashion design schools in South Africa to ensure opportunities of skills development, exposure and ultimately job creation for the talented budding creatives in our country. With the launch of our export development programs, the CTFC is now taking South African fashion global.” Ramkilawan continues.
Regarding the manufacturing sector: The clothing and textile sector has continued its strong growth trajectory, with constraints felt by manufacturers in terms of capacity and experienced machinists. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has, since the introduction of the new clothing incentive, invested R1.261 Billion into the Western Cape apparel sector – representing 40% of the total incentives across South Africa. This is good news for manufacturers within the Western Cape as it indicates that the beleaguered clothing and textile industry has turned the corner, and is now on an upward growth path in which CTFC has played a crucial and important role as an industry representative body.
Strategically, with the forward outlook and investment by Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town, CTFC is at the forefront of this turnaround through having formed valuable partnerships with Design Indaba. Over 40 designers generated sales of more than R3 800 000 over the four days of the expo in the past 3 seasons. In addition, designers were exposed to 208 international and 465 local buyers. The activities of the CTFC have directly contributed to Cape Town climbing up the rankings of fashion capitals, moving from 48th to 27th place over the year, and being recognised as the number one fashion capital in Africa.
“CTFC’s role in the CTFL industry is critical now more than ever, specifically in the Western Cape and South Africa, since the industry’s challenge is in the indebtedness of households. This has a negative impact on consumer spending, particularly in relation to clothing” explains Ramkilawan further. “With the decrease in funding, the CTFC has been forced to shut down its Technology Station / Incubation Space which directly affects competitiveness and job-creation of some 200 SMME’s in the Western Cape Province.”
Despite having been one of the original leaders of urban renewal initiatives within the City of Cape Town, supporting its efforts to reinvigorate the East City Precinct, the CTFC has been forced to implement cost-cutting measures and relocate its place of business outside of the CBD to the V&A Waterfront, Watershed – an innovative platform known for carrying designs unique to South Africa. Most importantly, with a shift in strategic direction of the CTFC to being a more outcomes-based and streamlined organisation in the coming financial year, The Watershed, was specifically selected because of the South African design footprint it holds and by our determination to drive South African fashion design to all corners of the globe.
The CTFC will aim to continue to pioneer the South African fashion philosophy and put South Africa, and especially the Western Cape, on the map as a global fashion capital.