Can African leaders adopt a stronger voice on global issues?

Can African leaders adopt a stronger voice on global issues?

Can African leaders adopt a stronger voice on global issues?

The decisions on ‘global’ problems are still being made by an exclusive club of developed nations often serving their own interests. As the African Union strikes out for financial independence and self-determination, we asked:

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Ngxokolo seeks legal advice against Zara

The South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has expressed its shock over reports of the international brand Zara stealing designs of the local designer Laduma Ngxokolo and his brand maXhosa.

This follows reports that Ngxokolo has sought legal advice against Zara for being a ‘copycat’ of his signature Xhosa-inspired sock collection.

The Workers’ Union general secretary Andre Kriel said that if these reports are true then it shows the worst form of fashion colonialism, an extraction of intellectual and cultural heritage from a far less powerful designer based in the developing world by global retail powerhouse based in the developed world.

“This cultural appropriation represents so much of what is wrong with the fashion industry specifically, and with global power relations more generally.”

Kriel said that the big fashion retailers have little regard for the young designers, they simply treat the world as a resource to be exploited to benefit their inspiration and ultimately their profit.

“Culture, designs and styles are reduced to a fair game that can be poached or cut-and-pasted as they wish, the more so if these designs are considered exotic and traditional.

“There is no sensitivity to the origins of designs, context, history and the power relations between the retailer and the object of their interest.”

SACTWU has also called on Zara to work with our local design talent and the local manufacturing industry to grow jobs in the local fashion industry.

-TNA Reporter