Plant Breeders – You can be part of the textile revolution.

Natural fibres are taking over

When it comes to fashion, it is better to choose quality over quantity. There is nothing more enticing than a beautiful piece of quality textile. Once you see it and feel it, you can visualise the beautiful piece of clothing you can create from it. The feel of natural fibre clothing on the skin is so irresistible. But, have you ever wondered where your favourite soft t-shirt comes from, or perfect-fit jeans? From a seed. Planted and cultivated to give you all your beautiful clothing.

How to be part of this exciting initiative in the fashion industry

You can be part of making a difference in the fashion industry by becoming a plant breeder who specialises in improving plants for better yields – either for consumption or use in the textile industry. They do this by adapting the traits of plants to create crops that are drought or disease resistant, and also tolerant to harsh environmental conditions.

If sustainability, improving the quality, diversity and performance of seeds and plants for the fashion industry sounds good to you, then this is the career to consider. You can become a plant breeder to ensure good seed which will produce quality textiles. If you work hard at school, pass matric with good marks in Physical Science and Maths, then you’ll be able to get into a university to study a degree that will help you get your foot into this industry.

You can either do a BScAgric (4 years) or BSc in Genetics and Molecular Cell Biology as a minimum requirement to enter this exciting industry soon after graduating from university. To start your career as a plant breeder, look out for jobs from seed and biotechnology companies, government, universities and cooperatives. These industries have employers always scouting for young, local talent just like you to join their teams.

At the moment, researchers in South Africa and all around the world are working hard to supply quality and improved plant varieties to farmers. When you become a plant breeder, you’ll have a direct impact on the livelihood of farmers and allow them to adopt more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production practices. Plant breeders are able to use technology that improves the quality of plants and varieties, making it possible to produce quality clothing.


Plant breeding is the science of improving plants for better yields. If the quality of material and where it comes from is extremely important to you, and if you value the environment and want to see a legacy of sustainability for generations to come, then plant breeding is definitely the job to consider. For more information on degrees available and requirements, follow SANSOR on Facebook or Instagram.