Together for tomorrow


Africa Textile Talks 2023

One-day event in Cape Town hosted by Twyg & Imiloa Collective

Date: Thursday, 17 August
Venue: Workshop 17, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Time: 08h00 – 17h00
Tickets: Full price: R400 and Early bird: R300


Join us for a full day of connecting and learning about textiles, slow fashion, and design. The programme celebrates and supports a growing African textile ecosystem that acts with care for people and the planet. This year, the focus of Africa Textile Talks is to inspire new practices which are rooted in the past, informed by the present, and look to the future. There will be insightful talks, presentations, exhibits and demonstrations.



8.00am – 8.45am Arrive

Register your attendance and have a cup of coffee.

8.45am – 9.00am Welcome

Our MC, Thobile Chittenden, CEO of Makers Valley and network co-lead of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, will introduce the day’s event.

9.00am  – 10.00am Keynote talk

Sunny Dolat: African Textiles – Vessels of Memory, Identities and Heritage

Sunny will take the audience on a narrative journey about how textiles implicate us all, and how they can fabricate the future. Connecting culture, history, global power dynamics, heritage, environmental harmony, and creativity, he connects the dots between the stories that lie below the surface of the fabric of our lives, and how they can shape the future.

10am – 11am Panel discussion

Africa’s sustainable material world

The clothes we wear are made from different materials – some kinder to the Earth than others. This discussion unpacks the latest developments in high-tech and low-tech materials that are informing textile futures on the continent – everything from natural animal fibres, plant fibres to recycled and bio-based materials. How are we harnessing the available and abundant raw materials on the continent to support and develop sustainable African textile economies? Panelists include Sappi’s general manager sustainability Krelyne Andrew, Noreen Mwancha from Kenya’s textile innovator Rethread Africa, Cape Wools SA’s CEO Deon Saayman and from Mauritius DDI’s Carolina Li. This panel will be moderated by Esethu Cenga of Rewoven. 

11.00am – 11.30am Tea break

11.30am – 12.30am Presentations

    • Frances van Hasselt: Farm to Fabric: a story from a Karoo mohair studio
    • Caroline Nelson: Country manager of H&M South Africa envisions a sustainable global fashion system.
    • Muktar Dodo: Global Organic Textiles Standard’s Africa representative will speak about certified organic textiles from Africa and the need to reinvigorate Africa’s textile ecosystems while leading with organic textiles. Muktar will discuss why organic textiles are important in fashion and how the African textile industry can overcome greenwashing claims to produce truly sustainable textiles. Find out more about GOTS here.

12.30pm – 13.30pm Lunch

13.30pm – 14.00pm Short film presentation

Lukhanyo Mdingi introduces the film Burkina Faso, a journey into the provenance of the 2022 Lukhanyo Mdingi collection Burkina, in honour of the CABES Textile Community in Burkina Faso.

14.30pm – 15.30pm Panel discussion

How design influences the future textile economy

As pioneers in creating our futures, designers aim to design out waste and keep materials in use for as long as possible. This could mean designing with fabric waste, upcycling discarded materials, incorporating recycled materials, working with regeneratively farmed fibres, and designing garments that are durable and easy to disassemble and recycle at end-of-life. This panel discussion unpacks the importance of the creative economy, the wellbeing economy, and shifting cultural practices. Panelists include textile designer Tinyiko Makwakwa, fashion designer Natalie Green from INKE Knitwear, and Merchants on Long’s fashion buyer Sumendra Chetty. Moderated by Bielle Bellingham.

15.30pm – 16.30pm Keynote presentation

The OR Foundation explains how textile waste in Ghana inspires the rethinking of the global textiles system

Samuel Oteng, Kennie MacCarthy and Yvette Ya Konadu Obieley Dickson-Tetteh from The Or Foundation will share insights from their research and supporting circular textile solutions in one of the biggest second hand markets in the world, the Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana. Visiting Cape Town, they will speak about the need for a new justice-led and circular textile economy. Find out more about The OR Foundation here.

16.30pm – 17.30pm Presentation and discussion

District Six Museum: Memory and cloth

Curator at District Six museum, Tina Smith, shows how cloth and stitch have the power to heal a community, document a history and bring an archive to life. Joining Tina are Patience Watlington, Jean Pretorius and Sylvia Ganget. Find out more about the District Museum project here.

17.30pm – 19.30pm Mixer

Join us for music, water or wine and fun.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors

Our work is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 12, which aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production. Read More