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City hailed for opening online fashion shop
​eThekwini hailed for online fashion shop
Small businesses in the local fashion industry have praised eThekwini Municipality for introducing technological innovation to assist emerging entrepreneurs. This follows the official launch of the Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) Emporium Online Shop on 21 November at the uMlazi Mega City Shopping Centre.

The DFF Emporium online trade will allow customers to purchase clothing items online from across South Africa. It is envisioned that the platform will extend clientele reach for local fashion designers as their garments will now be available to a wider audience, which can boost their sales. 

The DFF Emporium is located at uMlazi’s Mega City Mall and was established in 2016 as an initiative of eThekwini Municipality. It aimed to develop and expose local fashion designers by providing an affordable space to trade their products. The initiative reiterates the City’s commitment to support and encourage the fashion sector in order to play a meaningful role in the mainstream economy.

Local designer Sbusiso Shozi of 4 Ever Trending Designs was excited to be part of the initiative. Shozi’s collection is available on the DFF Emporium Online Shop. 
“This initiative by the City will enable my growth as a designer, as this platform will assist in marketing my work to a larger clientele,” he said. 

He said the initiative came at the right time for designers finding it difficult to sustain their businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The fashion sector is one of the worst-hit sectors affected by the global pandemic which has resulted in many businesses shutting down. The online shop is a key mechanism that will help sustain us as retailers while ensuring that we are exposed to a greater audience during this time,” said Shozi. 

The Municipality’s Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit Programme Manager, Nonku Mthembu said Covid-19 challenged them to develop innovative ways to adjust and adapt to the new normal and ensure the sustainability of the local fashion sector.

“Sales have declined in the retail sector and some retailers were forced to shut down. We then decided to assist designers by creating and expanding their customer base by establishing an online platform which will allow people across all corners of the country to buy their items,” she said.

She said they are encouraging the ‘buy and invest local campaign’ which is part of eThekwini’s Economic Recovery Plan. 

The DFF Emporium online shop is live and accessible at www.dffemporium.co.za

Designers are urged to make use of this platform and members of the public are encouraged to buy and support local talent. 

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