Swakara making positive inroads in the fur industry

On 15 March 2016, Agra’s Pelt Centre dispatched a consignment of 56,138 pelts destined to Copenhagen, Denmark for the international pelt auction on the 15th of April 2016. The pelts with an estimated value of N$24 million will go under the hammer at the Kopenhagen Fur international pelt auction. Representatives from Agra, the Swakara Board and the winner of the 2015 Agra/Kopenhagen Fur Quality Award will attend this auction.

Swakara pelts, known as Namibia’s Black Diamonds, continue to attract international fur lovers with its silky, elegant and appealing look. “Despite the 12% drop in attendance, compared to last year, swakara attracted many fur lovers, especially the Chinese and Koreans,” these were the remarks made by Jaco van Zyl, Agra’s Swakara Specialist, who represented the sought-after fur at the Hong Kong International Fashion and Fur Fair from 25 to 28 February 2016. He was accompanied by a Swakara Board member, Paulus Apollus.

Fur goes under the banner of “to see and be seen.” The Hong Kong International Fashion and Fur Fair is renowned as the largest and most important fur trade event in the world. “Swakara had a good exhibition at the fair, with its stunning booth drawing visitors to introduce them to the perfect fur for high-end fashion. Various buyers and manufacturers visited our booth and their general opinion was that swakara is still high in demand, and holds a promise for the future,” said Apollus.

Swakara was also prominently displayed at the Hong Kong gala evening and fashion show. About 140 garments were presented by models on the catwalk, of which 30 garments had swakara intergrated as part of their design. Mr van Zyl said: “The highlight of the event was seeing the Director of Ceremonies wearing a long grey swakara coat.”

Swakara pelts are sold exclusively at Kopenhagen Fur’s April and September auctions. Agra facilitated two international pelt auctions last year (2015). The auctions brought together a total of 115,918 pelts under the hammer at Kopenhagen Fur in Denmark. At the April 2015 auction, a total of 60 910 Swakara pelts were offered, of which 56 693 were sold at an average price of N$461.23 (DKK 266.72), representing a 93% sale of the total offer. At the September 2015 auction, all 59,225 pelts on offer were sold. It achieved an average price of N$428.58 which is a decrease of 7.08% on the N$461.23 achieved at the April 2015 auction.

Swakara is a high quality eco-fur, highly regarded as a long-term investment in terms of style and durability. Swakara is a robust sheep breed, able to thrive despite the dry desert conditions in the southern parts of Namibia. In some parts of the country the conditions are so harsh that no other livestock or crop can be cultivated. In that sense swakara is the golden story of Namibia engaging large parts of the rural communities, providing both employment and food.