The Eastern Cape Field Trip : Manufacturing & Cultural Heritage

As you know #ThreadsBySB has partnered with some of the country’s top minds and companies as workshop instructors & guest lecturers, merging practicality and industry insights with academic backing. Last month participants from the 4 campuses embarked on the Eastern Cape field trip. Where they explore South Africa’s cultural heritage as well as some of best manufacturing practices from the country.

As part of their 2-day Eastern Cape field trip, the entrepreneurs traveled to East London.

After a soothing rest at Premier Hotel Regent, it was time to visit a successful Manufacturing plant. Indeed, manufacturing and supply chain is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to starting any fashion business.  What better way to tackle the issue than learning straight from one of the leading manufacturers in the world, Mercedes-Benz.  

“We are known for two things; safety and quality. There is no first, they are equally as important” says  Mercedes-Benz representative Mike Du Plessis

The tour was followed by a special lecture from SA Fashion Council CEO Anita Stanbury. “ If Mercedes-Benz has such a beautiful clean factory whilst working with oils and iron, how much more cleanliness should we expect from our clothing factories? ” asked Anita Stanbury to the participants.

Soon after, we were joined by David Tlale for an exclusive Q&A session moderated by Threads co-founder, Tania Habimana.


The insights simply kept flowing! From showcasing designs that challenges the cliched and predictable to creating couture that embodies beauty, David Tlale shared his personal experiences as a fashion entrepreneur.

After a long day of lectures, surprise guest speakers and visits, we felt our entrepreneurs deserved a special treat. That’s why Blue Waters Café and The Boardwalk Hotel welcomed the entire team for a tasty dinner and a night of unprecedented comfort.

And now that the participants know all about lean manufacturing straight from Mercedes-Benz, day two of the #ThreadsBySB Eastern Cape Field Trip focused on South Africa’s cultural heritage. The day started with  an exclusive tour of  Hinterveld, the home of the Cape Tweed. Our entrepreneurs witnessed how Hinterveld’s signature “Cape Tweed” fabric is created.

Our second stop was at Mohair SA, the leaders in Mohair production. Participants gathered key insights on what it takes to create a worldwide fashion phenomenon fabric.

We knew we couldn’t have a Cultural heritage day without visiting Nelson Mandela Bay. That’s why we embarked on Route 67. The iconic route featuring 67 Public Art Works that symbolizes Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of work dedicated to the Freedom of South Africa.

From Vuyisile Mini Market Square, St Mary’s Terrace, Donkin Reserve to the Great flag on top of the hill. A true experience that erupts in a celebration of color, art, and heritage.

Stay tuned to find out exactly what business insights we’ve gained from the field trip.

Threads Team

We believe in change. We believe in leaving a lasting impact. That's why threads mission is to empower the next of South African fashion entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools, resources, and networks to run a sustainable business operation and thrive internationally.