SA retailers are progressively reducing their dependence on Chinese apparel imports. This replacement of imported goods with locally produced ones is called onshoring and appears to be well under way.

One of the key drivers of this trend is the signing in November 2019 by the country’s largest apparel retailers of a master plan that committed them to purchase a minimum of 60% of total products from local manufacturers. Before this agreement, local purchase content was about 40%. This master plan was a breakthrough for the local clothing manufacturing sector, and facilities were at capacity before the Covid-19 pandemic.

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