Shona Macdonald, the founder of Thursdays, the zero-waste, sustainable fashion brand, with Siphosethu Mchithakali “Sethu Wethu”, the fashion lecturer for the Taking Care of Business Remake Program models their green-and-gold inspired garments.
Thursdays: A Story of Determination
Shona Macdonald, the founder of Thursdays, represents the unwavering spirit of South Africans. Her mission is to resurrect South Africa's endangered underwear manufacturing sub-sector, which is teetering on the brink of extinction due to economic pressures and overseas competition.
"As a proud South African, it's not just my duty; it's a privilege to channel my skills for the betterment of our nation. Crafting lingerie and swimwear adds an exciting dimension to this mission," expressed Shona.
A Collection with Purpose
In tribute to the togetherness celebrated by the Springboks, Thursdays is launching a special green and gold swimwear and activewear collection. However, this collection is not just about fashion; it symbolizes the inception of a training program to upskill textile workers in the art of bra making. This initiative is made possible through a collaboration with TCB, a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers unemployed South Africans and their families to break free from the cycle of poverty.
Taking Care of Business: Transforming Lives
TCB focuses on tackling South Africa's massive unemployment and poverty crisis through education and entrepreneurship. Their holistic approach equips individuals with valuable skills, mentorship, and access to resources to become self-employed.
TCB runs various programs, including 'Resell' to empower unemployed mothers in fashion trading, 'Repair' to reduce e-waste by training South Africans to run appliance repair businesses, 'Remake' to help seamstresses run viable businesses, 'Redistribute' to donate merchandise to nonprofits, 'Reskill' to equip others with financial independence skills, and 'Grow ECD' to assist preschools in delivering quality education in low-income communities.
Skills for the Future
Teamwork is crucial in this endeavour. Thursdays is partnering with Linda Swanson, a seasoned lingerie expert with a strong family history in bra manufacturing, to pass on her skills and mentor the next generation of bra makers. The goal is to train at least 20 qualified bra makers who can produce quality bras.
Supporting Local Industry
Thursdays is not the sole destination for these newly-skilled bra makers. Shona has identified over 50 Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the underwear and swimwear sub-sector, all of which face the same challenge of accessing skilled manufacturing. Thanks to TCB's comprehensive training and development, program graduates are not only technically skilled, but also equipped with entrepreneurship abilities to be self-employed.
The Green and Gold Collection: Sustainability and Impact
Shona collaborates with Siphosethu Mchithakali “Sethu Wethu”, the fashion lecturer for TCB's 'Remake Program,' to create Green and Gold Collection samples. These styles will now be taught as a part of the programme and students who pass the quality assessments will have the opportunity to work on a formal basis with Thursdays to fulfil customer orders. Thursdays is tracking the number of green and gold items ordered to symbolise the impact we can make when we stand together as a nation.
Both Thursdays and TCB are dedicated to sustainability and the circular economy, committed to transforming green into gold for the benefit of our beautiful nation. No material is sent to landfill, instead it is upcycled into unique products. Follow Thursdays on social media (@thursdaysza) to see what one-of-a-kind items emerge from the off-cuts from this collection.
How You Can Get Involved
If you're excited about being a part of this remarkable campaign and making a positive impact, it's easy to join in. Simply pre-order your Green and Gold swimwear and activewear through the Thursdays website at www.thursdays.co.za.
In addition, we are thrilled to announce a national photoshoot scheduled for 2nd December, and we're extending an open invitation to everyone who has made a purchase. Join us in various cities across South Africa to be a part of this collective celebration of South African pride.
Can't make it to the photoshoot but still want to contribute? You can make a difference by creating a video showcasing the unique garments created for you and sharing it on your social media platforms and (#wesupportboobs or #greentogold) and tag @thursdaysza and @tcborg to get featured. Your support will add a powerful voice to our mission.
Together, let's unite and be the change we want to see in our beautiful country. We can't wait to measure the impact we can make together!