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Stakeholder Engagement Workshop

Presentation: Designing climate-compatible industrial strategies for South Africa The textiles value chain - Findings and recommendations

Media article: New report offers advice on how to green the South African clothing and textile industry - Jackie May (Twyg 18 September 2022)

Media articleLess than 1% of discarded textiles are recycled back into clothing - Darren Parker (Engineering News 27 September 2022 ) 


South Africa, in line with global trends, has embarked on the transition to a climate-compatible economy as part of a broader transition to sustainable development. This requires the design of climate-compatible industrial development strategies for key value chains in the country. The textiles value chain is one such value chain.

Moving towards sustainable and circular textiles would require a holistic approach and changes at each stage in the value chain, involving players of all sizes and from all market segments. New business models would have to be adopted on a widespread scale, the use of hazardous substances in textile processing would have to be eliminated, and resources would have to be used much more effectively, with a shift away from fossil fuels towards renewable sources of energy and materials. But most of all, textile utilisation would have to be optimised, including a longer service life and more post-use options, along with drastically improved recycling when materials reach their end-of-life.

This webinar follows a research study into the environmental sustainability of South Africa's textiles value chain, with a focus on the manufacturing components of the value chain. The aim of the report is to inform the sector's path towards climate compatibility. A description of and introduction to South Africa's textiles value chain is provided, with emphasis on manufacturing activities in the country. The study explores main environmental impacts associated with South Africa's textiles manufacturing sector. It provides a set of proposed interventions to set South Africa's textiles value chain on a climate-compatible and sustainable pathway. These mitigation options focus on the manufacturing component of the value chain, or interventions that will directly impact and enhance manufacturing practices in the country.

These include:
o Reducing the use of hazardous chemicals and improving water management;
o Optimising manufacturing energy efficiency and consumption;
o Fibre-to-fibre recycling;
o Reducing single-use sanitary wear;
o Adopting clothing and footwear leasing models; and
o Increasing the second-hand clothing market.

The webinar will present a proposed action plan for how these interventions can be packaged and rolled out to decarbonise the South African textiles value chain. This is set within the context of and considering the implementation of the Retail-Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather Value Chain Master Plan to 2030.


14:00 - 14:10 Welcome and introduction
- Muhammed Patel, Senior Economist, TIPS

14:10 - 15:10 Key Inputs
- Unpacking the need for Climate Compatibility in the textiles value chain - Dr Nicola Jenkin, Pinpoint
- A textiles value chain decarbonisation strategy to meet net-zero 2050 commitments - Elize Hattingh, Researcher, TIPS

15:10 - 15:40 Panel Discussion
- Zubeida Zwavel, Executive Director, Centre for African Resource Efficiency and Sustainability (CARES)
- Hazel Pillay, Head of Clothing Pick n Pay.
- Sam Smout, Waste Sector Analyst and a Circular Economy Lead, GreenCape

15:40 - 15:55
Open discussion on the proposed way forward.

15:55 - 16:00 Wrap up

About the speakers

Dr Nicola Jenkin is the Director at Pinpoint Sustainability. She has over 25 years' experience working in the sustainability field with a particular focus on adding value to supply chains, sustainable food systems, and green skills to enable South Africa's economy to transition to one which is sustainable, just and resilient. Activities include professional research, advising on and developing CSR strategy, assessing resource efficiency and optimisation along supply chains, identifying added value, sectoral green skills supply and demand and socio-economic research.

Elize Hattingh is a Researcher: Sustainable Growth at TIPS. She has been actively involved in promoting the sustainable development agenda for more than 15 years. She was the Executive Coordinator for Waste to Wing, a Switch Africa Green Project and the Incubation Manager at the South African Renewable Energy Incubator. She also actively supports youth-owned entrepreneurs at Youth Bridge Trust and women-owned entrepreneurs at Future Females Business School with business development support.

About the panel

Zubeida Zwavel is the executive director of the Centre for African Resource Efficiency and Sustainability (CARES) based in South Africa. The NGO aims to support small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by creating awareness and giving access to sustainability mechanisms and furthering women's roles within sustainable business. The key objective of the NGO is to apply a pragmatic approach to implementing sustainability into business processes and management systems. Zubeida has coordinated a number of Industrial Ecology projects (such as Waste Minimisation Clubs, Symbiosis, and Eco-industrial parks) in varying sectors and industrial areas with her key activities including training and conducting audits. Additional key specialist skills include life cycle management incorporating tools such as eco-innovation, eco-labelling, carbon and water footprinting.

Hazel Pillay is the head of Pick n Pay Clothing. She holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town. Hazel specialises in developing clear retail propositions that are unique in order to create value for both internal and external stakeholders. She has also developed strategies to grow local, including procurement as well as created Futurewear with Gavin Rajah, which is an incubator for young South African designers. Hazel has covered numerous roles in retail as well as worked abroad in Poland and with the international retailer Cotton On. Her primary purpose is to create value, through retail, that will impact the lives of employees and customers positively as well as create economic growth opportunities through job creation.

Sam Smout is GreenCape's Waste Sector Analyst and a Circular Economy Lead. He works to bridge the gap between the two driving forces of the economy: the mandate of policymakers and bureaucrats (government), as well as the markets of the private sector (business). His role is to gather, analyse, distill, and disseminate information related to the opportunities for and the barriers to investment in economically viable green technologies, systems and processes that keep products, components, and materials at their highest use and/or value for as long as possible,

About the facilitator

Muhammed Patel joined TIPS in 2017. He holds a Masters in Economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where his thesis focused on the relationship between income and health in South Africa. Muhammed’s background spans work in industrial development, and competition and regulatory economics. While completing his Master’s degree, Muhammed worked as a junior researcher at the School of Development Studies conducting research on the manufacturing sector of eThekwini. He also lectured undergraduate economics students over this time. In 2015, Muhammed joined competition and regulatory consultancy Genesis Analytics, where he spent two years working on competition and regulation cases. Notably, his work focused on the telecommunications and energy sectors.

2016 logo with slogan

  • Date Thursday, 22 September 2022
  • Venue Webinar
  • Organisation TIPS

Waste tyres are a problematic waste stream. While figures provided vary, it is estimated that 10.9 million waste tyres enter the waste stream per annum (about 300 000 tonnes), with an estimated 900 000 tonnes stockpiled. An estimated 93 400 tonnes of tyres were collected for processing in 2021 (about 31% of waste tyres generated), with 22 700 tonnes of collected tyres processed (about 8% of waste tyres generated per annum). The growing volume of tyres and the stockpile are both a financially and environmentally unsustainable situation.

This report aims to:

  • Clarify the specific opportunities for supporting new industrial-scale market opportunities for waste tyre products.
  • Assess how to enhance existing markets and remove barriers that hinder market expansion and cause market instability, including determining options for approaching both the demand and supply side for waste tyre-derived product, and the market and regulatory conditions needed to maximise the diversion of waste tyres from landfills.

The research findings are to inform the provision of guidance on and recommendations for:

  • The alignment of industrial and environmental policies to foster sustainable management (including the production of goods) from waste tyres; and
  • A ministerial stockpile abatement plan, e.g., how the private sector and government can deal with the pre- and post-2012/2013 stockpile.

  • Year 2022
  • Organisation TIPS
  • Author(s) Nicola Jenkin (Pinpoint Sustainability)
  • Countries and Regions South Africa
Published in Green Economy