In 1957, The Seardel Apparel Group was formed employing just 38 people. Seardel grew steadily, making many acquisitions and reaching its zenith in 2003 achieving an annual turnover of R4Billion, while employing over 20 000 people in both the Clothing & Textile sector. Seardel produced top brands including, but not limited to; Nike, Adidas, Speedo, Wrangler, Brooksfield and Triumph. Locally, Seardel was a major supplier to Woolworths, Edgars and Truworths, whilst internationally they exported product to major customers in USA, UK and Europe. These customers included Marks & Spencer, Next, Otto Group, Karstadt and Adidas.
After the end of apartheid, South Africa joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1994. As a result, it opened its market to international trade. Local companies were not well prepared for international competition and were unable to deal with the influx of cheap imports. As a result, thousands of workers were retrenched and hundreds of factories closed their doors. In 2013 the Seardel Group announced the full closure of their apparel manufacturing arm which would have resulted in massive job losses.
TCI was established in 2012 by Mr. Herman Pillay when he expanded his business operations into the Western Cape after purchasing two manufacturing divisions that were previously closed by the Seardel Group based in Darling and Malmesbury. This resulted in the creation of 350 jobs in those communities. When Seardel announced the decision to shut down their remaining apparel divisions, Mr. Pillay was approached by SACTWU to assist in the preservation of jobs in the sector. TCI Apparel was then established and the acquisition was approved by the Competition Commission of South Africa on April 2014 saving 2274 jobs in the sector.
TCI Apparel has shown steady growth including increasing our staff compliment by an additional 1350 employees making us the largest clothing manufacturer in South Africa positioning ourself as an agile, progressive, forward thinking company.
TCI Apparel supplies all the major retailers in South Africa, including Woolworths, Truworths, Edcon Group, TFG and Queenspark. Through Woolworths we also export to David Jones in Australia.
In 2015, TCI Apparel acquired the Star Knitwear Group based in the SADC region of Mauritius. This would spearhead our plans to promote our speed to market strategy as we prepare to revive the South African Clothing & Textile Industry. With this acquisition we were able to access and service the existing customer base of the SKGL which are leading premium brands based in the UK and the US such as River Island, Top Shop, Miss Selfridges, Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Superdry, Forever 21 and Pacsun. Furthermore, TCI Apparel has developed the first state of the art green design centre in Africa based in Cape Town which is at the cutting edge of South African design, interpreting future trends and making them customer relevant. Our sustainable design center offers a more customer friendly, creative experience which allows effective collaboration on collective product strategies for the future centered around social, environmental and economical values.
TCI Apparel prides itself in a consistent investment towards upgrading our design, manufacturing and processing technologies and therefore remaining at the forefront of technological innovation in all of our design, material resource planning (MRP) and manufacturing processes.
TCI Apparel is a global leader in apparel design and manufacturing, leading the way with green efficiencies and minimizing our environmental footprint.
Our core values are Integrity, Trust, Passion, Commitment, Accountability, Excellence, Relationships, Community, Authenticity and Sustainability. With these key principles, we have structured our business to positively contribute to both the Global and Local Textile and Apparel value chain.
Our aim is to create value, by promoting growth and expertise by investing in human and social capital; this includes the development of the country’s best, young local talent in the fields of design graduates, business management graduates, technical management, as well as factory personnel whilst we work on reviving the South African Clothing & Textile value chain.