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Vaal Mall is celebrating Heritage Month in style by bringing together a variety of local talents, artists, entrepreneurs and musicians at its vibrant weekend markets this September.

In the spirit of celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of South Africa and the Vaal Mall shopping community, Vaal Mall kicked off the first of its three markets on Saturday 11 September.

Featuring the region’s innovative artists and creators is the latest part of Vaal Malls ongoing We Love Local campaign which has seen the inclusion of striking, distinctively local visuals placed throughout Vaal Mall as well as the introduction of Rethabile – the centre’s very own Rhino mascot who lives up to it’s name ‘we are happy’ by interacting with shoppers and tenants.

Carla de Villiers-Malan, Regional Marketing Manager for Vaal Mall says the We Love Local campaign, and now the weekend markets are a joyful celebration of everything that makes the Vaal region, its people, culture and heritage so wonderfully vivid and interesting. “After so much time spent apart, our weekend markets provide a great reason to safely come together again to support and celebrate our community.”

Shoppers can look forward to Vaal Mall’s upcoming weekend markets taking place at the centre on 18 and 19 September and on 25 and 26 September. “The market promises something for everyone. Now that spring is finally here, there’s no better time to get out of the house for some fun, entertainment and exciting shopping,” says de Villiers-Malan.

Vaal Mall shoppers have answered the call to donate pre-loved denim clothing to keep the most vulnerable in its community warm this winter, opening their hearts and their wardrobes and giving generously. With its “Denims for a Mile” campaign, the mall was surprised and delighted as it was blessed with a whopping 388 pairs of jeans.

The pre-loved denim is now re-loved denim, keeping children and adults warm and comfortable. The jeans were given to those who needed them most, including 55 pairs donated to Polokong Children’s Village in Sebokeng, 10 to Vereeniging Lions Club for families in need, and 27 to Rotary Club of Vanderbijlpark for families in need as well as an orphanage.

The remaining denims were distributed at a soup kitchen held at the St. Bonaventure Skills Centre in Barrage, together with Rotary Club of Riverside. Debonairs Vaal Mall sponsored freshly baked “dough-nation” buns, and Rotary provided the soup.

Vaal Mall collected unwanted denim clothing during the month of April in order to pass it on to a new wearer before the start of winter. The great thing about denim is that it is made to last, versatile, durable, and does a great job of keeping its wearer warm. Plus, people love wearing jeans.

In doing their bit for those in need this winter, Vaal Mall and its kind-hearted denim donors are also caring for the environment. By finding a great way for these clothes to be reused rather than discarded when decluttering, they have not only given their denims a new wearer but a new life. Making a single pair of jeans is calculated to use around 1kg of cotton, which takes around 10,000 litres of water to produce – enough drinking water for one person for a decade. So, extending the use of 388 pairs of jeans has enormous carbon offset benefits and environmental sustainability advantages too.

“We are grateful to everyone who gave their gently-used denim for this good cause. The generosity of all our socially and environmentally sensitive shoppers is amazing and humbling. They have shown that together we can care for our community and our environment. You can be assured that their donations have made a difference and are enjoying being reused. Thank you for the incredible impact you have made!” says Carla de Villiers-Malan, Vaal Mall Regional Marketing Manager.

What has been around for about 150 years but never grows old? What has been around for 150 years, changes every few years, but still remains as popular & fashionable as ever? The answer? Your denim jeans!! Invented in the 1870’s as workwear for farmers & miners, who would have guessed that denims would just continue to grow in popularity, & become more & more fashionable with time; that they would continue to be the fashion designers’ darlings & would become an essential in nearly everyone’s cupboard, male or female, young or old, as well as popular in every country around the world!

Each generation seems to think they have the newest & best version. Nevertheless, our denims are so loved that each person has a fashion favourite. During the 1950’s it was all about James Dean looking sexy in straight leg cuffed jeans & a tight T-shirt. Then along came the hippies of the 60’s & 70’s in embroidered bellbottoms – a far cry from the next look with the torn & ripped denim of the punks! These days we combine a bit of all of these. Can you believe that back in the day one had to sit in a bathtub & get your jeans to shrink to fit? Now we have stretch denim so that anyone can get that made to measure look. And as for wearing jeans for months, or even years, to get the gorgeous soft, worn look that’s so popular? No need -now every version is possible, straight off the shelf – torn or faded, colours or bling- just take your pick!

With recent trends of recycling, either by donation or by clever sewing, turning an old pair of jeans into something new makes denim forever fashionable, & sometimes it seems forever lasting! True to the saying – “old jeans never die – they just fade away!”

Vaal Mall has received a PMR Diamond Arrow Award for doing the most in its sector to stimulate economic growth and development in the Sedibeng area over the past year. Vaal Mall was voted the area’s Best Shopping Centre for the sixth consecutive year.

The Diamond Arrow is the highest possible PMR rating in an entirely public rating process where locals choose the most deserving businesses.  The rating is decided by business owners and leaders, and senior public officials, based in Sedibeng.

Vaal Mall was rated “Outstanding” and was placed first overall among Sedibeng District shopping centres.

“This has been a challenging year for our community, shoppers, tenants and our own operations. Shopping centres were called upon to step up and contribute to the economy, businesses, and society in ways we’d never before experienced and couldn’t even imagine doing in the past. So, we are especially grateful for this recognition during a difficult time when we had to respond to countless changes and challenges. So many individuals, businesses and organisations worked with us to serve and sustain our community during a very unusual time indeed, and we thank and salute them,” says Shana Maree-Paraskevopoulos, portfolio manager for Vaal Mall.

She adds, “This award is an acknowledgement of the tireless effort of our management, operations and marketing teams and partners, and the dedication of all our retailers and restaurants, to keep our community’s needs front-and-centre in everything we do, even during an extraordinary time in history.  It is a real honour and high praise indeed. There is no doubt that we have the best shoppers and an amazing community, and it is their support that truly makes us the best shopping centre in the region.”

Vaal Mall, the heart of Vanderbijlpark, is the Vaal Triangle’s shopping capital with 65,000sqm of convenient shopping and a variety of more than 150 retail stores.

The Vaal Mall Diamond Arrow Award rating is based on independent perception during research undertaken in 2020.

Centuries ago, long before we started watching our movie stars & celebrities fall in & out of love, there were Roman gods. We have Brangelina & the Kardashians, Meghan & Harry, William &Kate. Back then they had gods for everything, & one of the favourites was Venus, goddess of Love. She had a son called Cupid – a mischievous little god who had fun shooting arrows at couples to make them fall in love! His arrows were tipped with gold & when they pierced lovers’ hearts their fate was sealed. These days some are lucky enough to get Valentine gifts of gold, but the quirky hearts, chocolates & cuddly toys are far sweeter. And Valentine cards! Is there more joy in choosing one with just the right message, or is the best part solving the mystery of the secret admirer? Is the message filled with love, or is it going to be cute & spicy? And the secret admirer….. is it “The One”, or horrors, is it the one you’ve been avoiding all year? It all adds to the fun of a day filled with red & white, of chocolates & cuddly bears, hearts & cupids, & all things to do with love.

Vaal Mall celebrated the festive season with some extra cheer through its “We Love Our Community” initiative in which a remarkable R100,000.00 was donated to families in need to make Christmas a little brighter this year.

The centre worked closely with various NPOs in the community, including the Vereeniging Lions, Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce, Lusa Community Chest, Go Purple Foundation, IFM 102.2, Open Hands Project and Minenhle Arts and Culture Forum, to help identify struggling families.

Carla de Villiers-Malan, Regional Marketing Manager for Vaal Mall says that after a difficult year it was especially important to remember the spirit of giving during the festive season. “We are so thankful to be part of such a wonderful community and are proud to play a part in making a difference, however small, where it matters most.”

Vaal Mall hosted an official handover on 15 December where 100 families each received a R1000 Vaal Mall Gift Card. “We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to the Vaal community NPOs for collaborating with us on this special initiative, and of course to all Vaal Mall shoppers for their continued support throughout the year. We wish our community health and happiness for 2021,” says de Villiers-Malan.