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CTFF celebrates Local Fashion Industry
May '08
How does a trade union and manufacturers respond to the massive import penetration of local markets? They turn to fashion promotion to showcase the country's great designs and to make the case for the industry.

And so May will be the month to celebrate being fashionably South African as the SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU)'s annual Cape Town Fashion Festival (CTFF) gets under way from 1 – 17 May.

The festival combines a powerful mix of fashion and entertainment, including a catwalk show in the Company Gardens where Afro Pop group Malaika will perform and fashion shows both in Cavendish Square and the Promenade Shopping Centre in Mitchell's Plain as well as a heavy-weight business imbizo and the country's largest SETA graduation.

It will all culminate in the prestigious Cape Town Fashion Awards that recognises exceptional industry performance, to be held at Spier Estate outside Stellenbosch.

This year the Festival starts on the 1 st of May, International Labour Day, to draw the connection between the world of high fashion and the reality of workers, employment and the business of fashion.

In the words of Ebrahim Patel, SACTWU General Secretary and Fashion Festival Convenor, “Fashion can be used as a vehicle to combat poverty and social disintegration as it has the potential to create decent work.

But that is a policy choice we must make, from what consumers buy to where retailers source. Behind the fun,glamour and images, there is a serious business and a major employment opportunity and reality.

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