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The Federation at work

In representing the interests of major clothing retailers since it was founded in 2007, the federation engages with government, consumer bodies and labour organisations on issues affecting the sustainability of both member operations and suppliers and initiates research on challenges facing the sector. Key issues addressed by the federation to ensure members are positioned to offer best-value merchandise to consumers include:


  • Support for the local textile and clothing manufacturing industry
  • Imports and the benefits of lower-priced merchandise for consumers
  • Import tariffs, and notably the imposition of duty on clothing items for which there is no locally manufactured product.
  • Customs fraud.
  • Initiatives for responsible debt management by consumers.

Meeting the challenges

1As supporters of the local textile and clothing manufacturing industry, member retailers are keenly aware of the important role played by local suppliers in managing the risk of fashion. The shorter lead times offered by local manufacture enable retailers to capitalise on fashion trends and to be first to market. The quick response of local suppliers in restocking popular styles during a season provides an advantage over imported merchandise which can take up to six weeks to be shipped. However, local suppliers are under increasing pressure from higher operating costs, expensive raw materials and a lack of investment in technology to remain competitive with international counterparts.


Against this background, the federation promotes awareness among members of government incentives for the local manufacturing industry and of other initiatives to ensure the sustainability of the local supply base.

Meeting the challenges

2Credit purchases form a large part of sales by federation members. While members extend credit in a responsible manner, there is concern that rising food, transport and utility costs are shrinking consumers’ disposable income and increasing levels of household indebtedness. While home, vehicle and furniture debt far exceeds that owing on clothing accounts, federation members believe initiatives to help consumers manage life’s circumstances better deserve full support. The federation is accordingly discussing education initiatives with organisations representing the interests of both consumers and of financial services businesses.


Federation members favour proactive rehabilitation of errant account-holders and helping where possible to make life easier for them. This builds on an approach to consumer welfare that has its roots in long-standing policies for a refund or replacement of defective merchandise or for exchange of merchandise found unsuitable in styling and fit.


If you’re struggling with repayment of an account to a federation member, please refer to the contact details provided on your statement and approach the retailer.