According to a study titled Assessing the Economic Value of the Designer Fashion Sector in South Africa, in collaboration between the South African Cotton Cluster (SACC) and DTIC, local fashion designers contributed more than R1 billion towards the country’s GDP in 2019.
With the country struggling to get its manufacturing sector up and running progressively, this news comes in great timing to aid South Africa in the rejuvenation of its economy through job creation.
Speaking and commenting on the importance of this study, the Department of Trade Industry and Competition (DTIC), has this to say on the matter:
“Studies such as this will not only enable both our existing and up and coming designers to grow their businesses and encourage South Africans to buy local, but also create a supply chain that will benefit many South Africans. ”
Also highlighted in the study were major growth opportunities in which local designers could utilize in order to further grow and contribute towards the country’s GDP. Of these areas of opportunity, the growing upper middle class of South Africa was identified as one an has been estimated to be worth roughly, R180 billion.
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Additionally, the shift towards slow fashion as a means to transform the fashion industry into a more sustainable one was also presented as a potential opportunity.
According to the study:
“The sector has the ability to service the increasingly stringent requirements of the market when it comes to sustainability and ethicality throughout brands’ value chains. There are ample opportunities when it comes to positioning the designer apparel sector as a pioneer and custodian of sustainability. The sector’s contribution to the local economy, as well as identified potential impact, positions the designer apparel sector as a key investment opportunity.”