- Woolworths has collaborated with their second local fashion visionary following their August collaboration with Tshepo Mohlala of Tshepo Jeans.
- This time, their meaningful mantra of choice comes from Papama Mtwisha, who launched the Africa Your Time Is Now™ movement in 2017, which has since earned international acclaim.
- In 2020, Papama's message is "Go Within, or Stay Without", and it's on a limited edition T-shirt sold exclusively at Woolworths stores at R249 a pop.
"You got something to say? Put it on a T-shirt."
"Been there, done that, got the T-shirt."
"My sister went to England, and all she got me was this T-shirt."
There's something about putting a few succinct words in bold print or a striking image on a cotton T-shirt, isn't there?
T-shirts have long been the fabric of communication for social justice movements, political elections, pop culture moments, casual uniforms, and are even worn as comedy in motion. In their simplicity, they carry multiple messages.
When Woolworths collaborated with local fashion visionary, Tshepo Mohlala, in August to create a limited edition tee that sparks pride in the South African Constitution, the words "We, The People" were used to encourage the passionate people of our nation to band together and build our collective future with power, positivity and resolve.
The major retailer echoed my views on the enduring power of slogan Tees, as they reminded us that the changemakers of the world have long used T-shirts to spread messages that matter.
Tshepo Jeans founder wears the "We, the People" limited edition T-shirt. Image supplied by Conversation Capital
Announcing the news of their latest collaboration with a local fashion visionary, Papama Mtwisha, Woolworths remarks; "We're part of a generation that feels deeply, and is determined to create a world we want to live in."
"As individuals, and as a collective. we want to grow and thrive beyond the turbulent times we're living in - and it all begins with the words on this Tee: Go Within, or Stay Without."
Image from Woolworths website
The meaning and intention of this T-shirt?
It's to inspire us as individuals to go within, reflect, grow, and unearth the value only we can bring. By wearing this limited Tee, its creators declare that one is joining a commitment to spark meaningful conversations during a time when the world needs it most.
As the founder of the Africa Your Time is Now movement, Papama Mtwisha is evidently intentional about the messages she sartorially megaphones on T-shirts. Detailing the inception of this movement on their website, Papama reveals that the "single aim [was] to open our eyes to our limitless potential as AfriCANs."
Image screenshot from africayourtimeisnow.com
For her take on what a slogan Tee (more specifically, "Africa Your Time is Now") symbolises, the creative director of Butter Pudding writes;
"In wearing an Africa Your Time is Now t-shirt one becomes a breathing billboard sending a positive vibration. You convey a powerful message of inspiration that positively reaffirms and sends a bold reminder of the power that Africa and Africans possess."
When done right (because it can go oh-so-wrong sometimes), I guess we could say then, that a slogan/statement T-shirt is literally the body language you choose to communicate on a given day.
But beyond the messaging behind words on a T-shirt, limited edition collaborations speak to the gradual winds of change currently happening in the fashion and creative industries.
A point Head of Brand Communications for Woolworths Fashion, Shaheda Sayed highlighted when they launched the "We, The People" Tees, saying; “We see this collaboration as a step in the right direction for the future of fashion, and a precedent for what is still to come for us."
"At Woolworths, we have a long history of supporting young designers, and we take great pride in amplifying the important message that Tshepo has to share with the nation. The voices and works of local creatives are more important than ever, and we’re prioritising supporting their businesses.”
Image supplied by Conversation Capital
Like the "We, The People" Tee - in support of local fashion - 2020 units of the limited edition "Go Within, or Stay Without" T-shirt will be available at selected Woolworths stores nationwide at the affordable price of R249. A percentage of each purchase will go towards a Covid-19 relief fund that assists in food security for vulnerable communities.
Woolworths x Papama pose now pose the question to us; What does "doing the work" mean to you? Tell us here.
Additional information and images provided by Conversation Capital