SME Sews Success: Large Leading Enterprise Notices

Nozipho Dube is the passionate and industrious CEO of Ecogift Clothing, a small Cape Town based Cut-Make-Trim (CMT) facility. During their participation in the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster’s Small Business Accelerator programme, Ecogift Clothing received a letter of intent from Cape Union Mart. If this opportunity is realised, Ecogift could potentially be a future supplier to Cape Union Mart.

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Joining the Accelerator has offered Nozipho the opportunity to distil the challenges stemming from the Ecogift factory and find innovative ways of resolving these challenges.

“For me, the Cape Clothing and Textile Small Business Accelerator came at a time of feeling jaded about the local manufacturing sector and the need to be re-energized professionally. Being a part of the Accelerator has taught me the importance of not getting sucked into the business but rather to find time to work on the business.” – Nozipho Dube, owner and founder of Ecogift Clothing.

Despite feeling like they’ve been in ‘survival mode’ for the last few years, Nozipho and her team have been undeterred in their commitment and willingness to unlock new commercial opportunities for Ecogift, including the journey to National Bargaining Council compliance.

Having recently been approved for a technology transfer grant, Ecogift have purchased new boilers and automated thread-cutting machines for the factory’s production floor. Through this process, Nozipho realised that a skills gap in her team is the lack of technical expertise when it comes to prioritising scaling up needs. Nozipho has also recognised an area for improvement in Ecogift’s production, which is the costing of products and planning production appropriately.

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As part of the commercial opportunity that has been unlocked with Cape Union Mart, Ecogift’s first sample submission has recently passed the quality check and the Cape Union Mart team will be supporting Ecogift to develop their first planning board and learn the skills of planning production.

What lies ahead for Ecogift Clothing?

Ecogift have been granted Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster membership until the end of the year and will have full access to the cluster’s resources. Nozipho is currently exploring the possibility of setting up a new production line. She is still finding the balance between being a workwear manufacturer and fashionwear CMT manufacturer.

Robyn-Leigh Van Laren