South Africa: Young Designers Ready to Grow Their Footprint

Two young designers are keen to expand their footprint in the clothing and textile sector as well as gain a foothold in international markets.

Fashion and accessories company, Ledikana, is looking forward to meeting buyers and people who are interested in their products.

"Our main aim is to see buyers from different stores, boutiques, lodges and those in the corporate gift market and conclude supply contracts with them. Our style and quality make us a player that deserves to be in this space as they guide our entire manufacturing process," said its founder Mapholo Ratau on Wednesday.

The Johannesburg-based company, which manufactures contemporary African garments, hats and accessories, is also helping to develop the skills of women from the rural areas of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

Ledikana and Lust Be Original are showcasing their wares at the Department of Trade and Industry's (dti) pavilion at Source Africa Exhibition currently taking place in Cape Town.

The three-day exhibition which is the premier sourcing event on the African continent which brings together suppliers, manufacturers, service providers and buyers all under one roof got underway on Wednesday.

The exhibition also showcases products and services across all aspects of the textiles, apparel and footwear industries.

A banker by profession, Ratau's passion and the love of making garments led her to establishing her business back in 2011. She formalised it in 2014 and has retained many of the same customers she met seven years ago.

The company has previously participated in various trade missions organised by the dti to countries like China and Italy.

Owner of Lust Be Original, Nkoketse Mametse, specialises in hand made leather footwear.

Originally a clothing brand, it quickly developed and established itself primarily as a leather specialist producing leather shoes, bags, belts, armbands and wallets.

As a first time participant at Source Africa, the company is looking forward to networking with their counterparts in other countries and also to meeting distributors in order to expand the brand profile.

Mametse adds that the platform will also give him an opportunity to learn more about leather processing which is where his next focus will be.

Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre the exhibition will conclude on Friday.

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