South Africa’s Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies will officially open the first exclusively African textile, apparel and footwear trade event, called Source Africa.
Trade delegates from around the world are expected to attend the event, which will kick off with an address by Mr Davies and a day of business seminars led by the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA).
The event will take place at the Cape Town International Convention centre from April 9-12 and has been organised in response to the growing demand for quality manufacturing and products from this sector.
Africa has long been a source of inspiration for fashion trends, but for the first time it is being recognised as a valuable producer of fashion, with major retailers already actively sourcing from the continent.
The trade show, which will take place between April 10 and 11, will promote African manufacturers to both local and international decision makers, with the aim to increase market share for the continent as well as develop regional trade between African countries.
Source Africa’s professional matchmaking programme pairs regional producers with regional and international retailers, brands and wholesalers. Last year this programme resulted in more than 450 meetings $2m in immediate sales and $10m in carry over sales.
International buyers that have already confirmed attendance at this year’s event include representatives from Hugo Boss (Germany), Ash City Worldwide (USA), PVH Corp, Edun (USA), Ralph Lauren (USA), Marks & Spencer PLC, New Wide Group Inc, Amer Sports (France).
Africa is increasingly sought after as a competitive source of textiles, apparel and footwear products, as well as being viewed as a viable contender in the luxury market. Source Africa provides manufacturers the opportunity to showcase the quality, creativity, and professionalism of African products.
The two days of trade show and business matchmaking will incorporate power breakfasts led by the African Cotton & Textiles Industries Federation (ACTIF) on 10 and 11 April. The event concludes with a further day of AAFA business seminars on 12 April.
The trade show will feature country pavilions as the centrepiece of more than 130 African exhibitors interested in growing their exports. Countries already represented at the event include Mauritius, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Madgascar, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
The trade show stands will include products ranging from fashion brands, accessories, clothing, footwear, textiles, home fabrics, through to interlinings, trims and threads, machinery, display products, and IT solutions.
The business seminar line up will address the benefits of sourcing from Africa, what buyers are looking for, and highlight investment opportunities in the region. The programme includes discussions on infrastructure, logistics, transportation and best practice - focusing on getting a product to consumers once it is manufactured in Africa. The seminars will delve into compliance issues, as well as sustainability, social responsibility and environmental impact.
With the African apparel and footwear industry emerging as a key stakeholder in the international market, Source Africa provides the perfect opportunity for manufacturers, wholesalers, brands and retailers to connect with this rapidly developing sector.