Our Company

Eastern Cape Design Focus

Fashion EngagementEc has collaborated with Art Versatile and the Eastern Cape Film Hub to produce Eastern Cape Design Focus 2021. The Eastern Cape Design Focus aims to enable and provide emerging creatives within the province the possibility to create collaborations amongst themselves, increase market access and to build and strengthen their profiles locally and nationally.

Because of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, we had to think fast within the box that we found ourselves in as artists. everything around us has changed. The pandemic that swept us away, taking away many things, perhaps gave us back the sense of time and of the really important things and greater attention to the quality of what really matters.

The 2020/21  programme seeks to respond with artistic agility to new ways of developing, promoting and selling art. This includes reimaging audience interaction with the creative arts, the designing of new ways for viewing.

Through additional support from SEDA and ECDC this platform created by FASHION ENGAGEMENTEC will strength dialogues on how to nature SMMEs and business development. We are certain that this gathering is a catalyst to inspire greater collaborations between stake holders and the development of the local economy.

Editor's Note

It has been a tough 13months, living in constant fear of death, anxiety and suspense. A shared nightmare of loss, despair and survival caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

While this pandemic showed us the flipside of life, it also showed us how to value life and what is important. The lockdown has taught us a lot of lessons but in the midst of it all Hope and Resilience remain the key to survival.

At the moment things are seemingly getting better in South Africa, we are still and perhaps will be for the foreseeable future experience the effects of this pandemic. As the uncertainty lingers, life must go on, we have somehow gotten used to bad news and lives of our loved ones counted as bodies and statistics.

We are hoping Eastern Cape Design Focus will contribute towards healing while using the platform as a cultural and commercial safe space for creative designers within the Province. Resourcefulness, efficiency and sustainability remain the centre of our concept.

Purpose of the Programmme

The initiative began in 2014 as a programme that seeks to address the needs of creative designers within the Eastern Cape. There is a notable gap between our province and other provinces like Gauteng, KZN and Western Cape when it comes to packaging of programmes and support for creative designers especially in Clothing and textiles space, we are lacking. The wide appeal that our programme has achieved in the last 5 years consolidated the strength of the format and the development of an increasing interest from around the country. This is a programme that is dedicated to emergent designers, small medium enterprises who wish to be noted. 

The aim of the programme is to involve designers from all regions of the Eastern Cape to participate and be part of a collective to grow the creative industries in the province.  We give preference to participants who are sustainable oriented, give more attention to detail, real quality and a collection that is aesthetically creative and pleasing.

Project Description and Theme

2021 THEME IS “TOGETHER WE LIVE” the theme is based on a creative and artistic interpretation of Covid-19 Pandemic in our community utilising waste material and found objects. Minimal use of bought material is key to the development of the art works for the designated designers and artists, “Creative waste management”.

Sustainable development is prompting emerging artists, particularly individuals from previously disadvantaged communities who work with waste and recycled materials to embrace this initiative. As the theme and inspiration behind this exhibition for this year is Covid-19, all active participants are to use 60% of recycled materials and 40% bought. This approach contributes to a cleaner environment.

A safe management of domestic waste is very critical, and as proposed medium for expression, each designer will articulate their ways of safe processes undertaken in developing art while keeping the environment clean, through the proposed booklet.

A very important part of the programme is educating and assisting emerging designers prior to the main event. This has been achieved through workshops that take place in different regions around the province, but in 2020 we could only work within Amathole.

Fashion Engagement

We have been facilitating and participating in lots of projects and assignments locally, nationally and internationally over the years. Berlin November is one of the local creative projects we have been driving in the Province for the past five years, supported and funded by different stakeholders in the creative sector. Other participations include Torino Fashion week, Uganda International Fashion show, South Africa Cultural Season in Kenya, Germany and Netherlands. We are Cultural workers, Academics, Researchers and Heritage advocates


  • Empower Eastern Cape Creative Designers while simultaneously using art to preserve and promote tourism and culture in a uniquely South African way. We aim to bring depth, definition and clarity to Eastern Cape inspired work.

  • Create a platform that will educate, empower stimulate creativity and sustainability for all participants.

  • Create networks and a pool of skilled designers to develop the event as an annual event for the province as well as promoting the importance and significance of creative arts for economic advancement and empowerment while encouraging them to play an active and meaningful role to the Eastern Cape and the broader South Africa

  • Promote and evolve our Clothing Heritage and Art in the Eastern Cape whilst contributing to domestic and rural tourism initiatives and further enhance a proudly Eastern Cape Creative product on international platforms

  • Mobilise and engage critical stake holders and role players regarding their participation and ensuring that the creative objectives outlined here are realised jointly as a product of the Eastern Cape Province

Our Team

Thabo Labase

Sibusisiwe Nodada