Johannesburg – Although almost every industry was affected by the pandemic, the tourism and hospitality industries were the most severely affected.
Covid-19’s nature and restrictions have meant that these businesses had a need to completely overhaul their operations since March last year. However, many of them remained closed at some point during the pandemic.
This has had dire financial consequences, especially in South Africa, which is rich in natural beauty but is also a popular tourist destination.
However, the Covid-19 rate is on the decline and the country is under Level 1 lockdown restrictions. Bush Whisper Foundation decided not to limit their thinking to help the industry get back on its feet.
The charity hosted their first ever event. fashion showLast week, which reflected proudly South African ideals with which the nation is synonymous.
The main purpose of the showcase was to help South Africans who lost their jobs or income due to the global pandemic.
“We knew there was a need to assist South Africans directly affected by what has transpired over the past two years and we wanted to create an environment whereby we could assist as many people as possible, from sourcing locally sourced material, to working with local seamstresses, while raising funds for the tourism and hospitality sectors,” the foundation’s patron and fashion showco-designerThe Saturday Star was told this week by Talitha Olshuizen.
“It is from this need that the idea to host a fashion show, with individually designed items, was born, and this new fashion label is an exciting direction for the foundation, with much more to come soon,”She spoke.
The ‘Elements of Africa’ fashion showIt was displayed in a fitting manner at the five-star Nkanga Lodge in Johannesburg. Here, models walked in unique handmade garments made from shweshwe material.
The collection’s designers Talitha Oosthuizen and Jodie Berry. Supplied photo.
“Myself and Jodie Berry, an intern student who is currently pursuing her honours degree, started planning and designing the range in May 2021.
“It was hard work and there were many obstacles along the way, from the shweshwe material arriving late from East London to the custom material being delivered with the incorrect designs, but this is part of life and business, and we were just relieved that in the end it all came together,” Oosthuizen said.
She stated that the event was a success, with ticket sales already raising thousands of rands and a live auction at the venue. fashion show.
The proceeds of the showUrban Ruins Foundation, Solidarity Tourism Fund, Greentrax K9 anti-poaching unit and the Solidarity Tourism Fund will receive donations.
Oosthuizen stated that the Bush Whisper Foundation will employ local women seamstresses because of the severe impact on women by the global health crisis.
Other than the crucial fundraising aspect, fashion showOosthuizen was proud of the designShe believes that the garments reflect the energy, diversity, and abundance of fauna and flowers of Africa.
“The theme of the show was ‘Elements of Africa’ and the range of the garments was created based on Earth – Water – Wind – Fire, which are elements of our natural environment.
Striking looks from the Elements of Africa’s Fire range. Supplied image.
“Being in the tourism industry, with a big focus on bush experiences, it naturally and ideally formed part of the greater picture,”She explained.
Oosthuizen claimed that the entire collection was a big hit, but it was the Fire range and accessories like the handbags and kids ranges that received the most positive feedback.
This collection might be the Bush Whisper Foundation’s first fashion showIts patron insists that many more are on their way.
“We see a future for this fashion label, utilising the fashion show as the launch for future foundation endeavours and we were also able to use the fashion show as an opportunity to showcase a variety of businesses and groups in the sector, as they try and survive in an extremely difficult time.”