Sustainable Fashion – South Africa has a lot of great options for you if you’re ready to start making some changes to your fashion shopping habits. Our guide to South Africa’s sustainable fashion brands will give you some “green” fashion inspiration and a treasure trove of local sustainable fashion brands!
As we become aware of the devastating effects that fast fashion has on the health of the planet, as well as the people, it’s no surprise that a shift towards “slow fashion” is becoming prevalent.
What is Slow Fashion?
“Slow fashion” refers to a sustainable way of producing and consuming clothing that is focused on the wellbeing of the environment, equality and long lasting quality apparel.
In contrast, fast fashion’s motivation for money results in producing low quality garments at low prices but with major costs to the earth and those caught in the grind of garment factory work. Read more about the truth behind your clothing in our article about the “WHYs” and “HOWs” of sustainable fashion!
We love the way Maven sum up the principles of sustainable or “slow fashion”…
Know what you own.
Keep what you need.
Think before you buy.www.maven.co.za
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Fashion footprint calculator – This comprehensive fashion footprint calculator collects 12 data points from how frequently you buy clothes, to how you wash them and even to your perception of the pricing of ethical clothing to give you a final extremely informative report. CLICK HERE TO SEE A SAMPLE REPORT.
Woodstock Laundry is THE place to shop for sleepwear! They have decided to focus on environment-friendly production and distribution. Their approach to ‘slow’ fashion has meant they have become the makers and masters of their own brand, doing all the designing, cutting, sewing and finishing touches themselves, in their happy and friendly workspace.
They are a family-owned business of highly skilled artisans who make all their clothing by hand and heart, spending time and effort to perfectly curate each item. With their personal touch and planet-friendly ethos, it is ensured that all items are 100% natural fiber, sourced from eco-aware partners and of great quality. They are focused on reducing waste as much as possible to protect our planet, repurposing as much as they can and using only recycled-paper packaging.
Offering sleepwear for women, men and children, Woodstock Laundry has comfortable and stylish options for the whole family, allowing everyone to do their part in saving the planet and supporting their home country.
Sitting Pretty was founded by Emma Longden with environmental awareness, ethical trading and integrity underpinning the label’s philosophy. Emma is particular about sourcing natural and environmentally friendly fibres such as organic cotton and hemps.
The earth conscious label creates simple and relaxed pieces characterised by soft tones and light, loose cuts, offering understated chic and controlled nonchalance with a touch of sensuality. A combination of Bohemian chic and urban sophistication, the label playfully juggles together ethnic silhouettes, masculine tailoring and sportswear codes, with a hint of romantic aesthetics.
Care and respect is given to the people who produce and make the Sitting Pretty collections and all garments are designed and manufactured in Cape Town. Sitting Pretty garments can be bought online, at the Sitting Pretty store in Gardens Centre, Cape Town, at Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in Kalk Bay, and at all good ethical fashion retailers.
HOT TIP: Psst 15% DISOUNT on first order if you sign up for their newsletter!?
Thrifting at its finest, Maven is an online shop featuring pre-loved clothing from the likes of H&M and Zara, through to designer brands including Diane von Furstenberg, Chloe, and Prada, giving these garments a longer life and creating a circular clothing economy.
Founded by Jane McNamara and Teri-Fay Macduff, Maven’s vision is to bring a curated collection of exceptionally high-quality #ProudlyNotNew clothing to stylish South Africans.
Supporting their circular business model, Maven offers a space for those looking to pass on their pre-loved pieces, and sellers can choose to receive credit on the site or opt for a cash exchange!
To ensure a full circular economy, Maven has partnered with The Clothing Bank, an organization committed to uplifting women through business mentorship. For every item sold on their site, they donate an item to this inspiring NGO.
Shop online at Maven for some exquisite pre-loved items that tick all the “slow fashion” boxes!
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Lily Label is a South African sustainable swimwear label offering unique designs made from ECONYL – regenerated nylon waste (think everything from landfill waste to fishnets!). ECONYL is strong and durable but can be recycled, recreated and remoulded again and again!
Indulge yourself in their romantic, artistic, luxurious and feminine pieces that will enhance your assets and make you feel good. With close attention to detail, Lily Label offers a wide range of designs from bikinis, microkinis, bandeaus and one-pieces – each piece is guaranteed to last for many years to come!
Get your dream swimsuit online and with each purchase Lily Label will plant a tree and invest in carbon offsets, on your behalf!
Spiritgirl is a female first eco activewear brand founded by two Cape Town girls with a passion for an active lifestyle and giving back to the planet. This fresh brand offers a range of custom designed, eco friendly, locally and ethically made apparel for the active eco conscious woman, ready to take her green game to the next level!
All the garments are made from recycled PET bottles which reduces the need for landfill space, the need for dyeing and fixing agents and the demand for oil. Read more about Spiritgirl’s dedication to the planet and the people and make sure to snag yourself one of their gorgeous swimsuits, funky leggings or snazzy tops, and don’t forget to check that sale tab!
Hot Tip: Sign up for the Spiritgirl newsletter to recieve 15% OFF your first order
Every 1 ton of recycled PET yarn can save 6 tons of oil!
Stylish and sustainable fashion that feels good and looks good! Lunar is committed to creating stunning pieces from 100% natural fibres at the highest quality, providing you with garments that will last a lifetime.
All Lunar Life clothing is produced locally in South Africa and supports employees with fair and uplifting work conditions – no sweatshops and no next to nothing wages!
Shop online at Lunar for your effortless style!
The Joinery is a sustainable and ethical South African brand that focuses on finding solutions to environmental and community issues through design. They use recycled plastic bottles to create luxury products and have thus far saved half a million plastic bottles from polluting the ocean! They hope to reach 1 million in the near future!
Turning plastic into a resource, The Joinery crafts stylish tote bags, protective masks, travel and leisure accessories, as well as home and office ware. Their aim is to empower people to care for the planet and support communities to thrive.
We just LOVE their Future Felt™ Safari Hat made from recycled plastic bottles – the perfect accessory for those sunny days.
The Pure Cotton Shop
Timeless, stylish, chemical free, eco friendly and sustainable cotton products is what The Pure Cotton Shop is all about. With a passion for the planet and the people, The Pure Cotton Shop designs are inspired by simplistic beauty and neutral colours. Made with 100% organic sustainable cotton, their range of clothing, bath wear and bed linens, are soft, breathable and gentle on the skin – perfect for babies and those with allergies or sensitive skin! The Pure Cotton Shop is committed to delivering the best service, to both the environment and its people, through sustainable practices, job creation, transparency and upliftment. Shop your cotton at www.thepurecottonshop.co.za
That’s right, the eco conscious Canadian bamboo wear company Boody has a local South African branch! Made from 100% organic bamboo, Boody offers a range of bamboo basics for women, men and babies, ensuring that what you keep closest to your skin is good for you and the planet! Bamboo is breathable, hypo-allergenic and antibacterial and antifungal making it the perfect choice for all your undergarment needs, plus it improves air quality and grows quickly, making it a regenerating crop!
Shop for you Boody bamboo goodies at www.boodywear.co.za.
Hot Tip: Take 20% off your first order when you sign up for the Boody newsletter
Bamboo plantations produce 30% more oxygen than an equivalent area of trees and absorb more carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases!
Nothing could be sexier than Sexy Socks’ unique business scheme, snazzy products and planet friendly ethics! Their cotton range uses the highest quality combed cotton to create magic everyday socks that are comfortable, breathable, durable and supremely soft on the skin.
The bamboo range will keep your feet cool in summer and warm in winter. The socks are super soft, anti-odour, anti-bacterial, environmentally sustainable and available in a range of unique designs. Get ready to add some serious spunk to your wardrobe!
It is Sexy Sock’s mission to change the fact that so many South African children don’t have something as basic as a pair of socks to wear to school. For every pair of Sexy Socks they sell, they donate a pair of school socks to a child in need. In the past few months alone, they have been able to give away almost 15,000 pairs of socks in partnership with wonderful organisations like The Santa Shoebox Project, Chrysalis Academy, Just Grace and Round Table.
Your socks are making a difference! Sexy Socks are proudly designed and made in Cape Town. Buy your very own sexy socks online and help a child in need!
Lontanta Apparel was founded in Cape Town 1999 and is one of South Africa’s oldest remaining shirt manufacturers. To help fight the pandemic, Lontana started producing local quality face masks and has provided jobs for over 1000 people over lockdown, offering them work they may not have otherwise had.
“Our products, like our famous Madiba shirts and now protective masks, are produced locally, made by local workers, with South African consumers in mind,” says Dylan Rothschild, Managing Partner of Lontana Apparel.
Shop at online at Lontana for your high quality local masks and shirts!
Quality Over Quantity – buying sustainable clothing might seem more expensive but rather think of it as an investment.
Founded in 1996, Hemporium is a proudly South African hemp company committed to showcasing all that hemp has to offer with its wide range of eco-friendly hemp products. From clothing, textiles, personal care products, accessories and cosmetics, the Hemporium has it all!
Hemp is a comfortable and very durable fabric that is anti-microbial and mould resistant. It keeps you cool in summer and warm and cosy during winter, ensuring that any hemp garments you buy will definitely be worn again and again. The ultimate in sustainable fashion!
Shop online at Hemporian for all your hemp needs!
Faithful to Nature
Faithful to Nature’s eco-friendly Clothing and slow fashion with a conscience is 100% ethical attire, from fibre to factory.
Their carefully curated collections of sustainable fashion and style are made using breathable bamboo, hardy hemp and South Africa shweshwe to minimize their impact on the Earth. Brands include, Boody, Hemporium and The Pure Cotton Shop – all highlighted previously in this article!
Shop clothing with a conscience online in South Africa at Faithful to Nature with free delivery on orders over R400.
Big brands such as Woolworths are taking the steps to shift towards more sustainable practices. From renewable energy and water saving to responsible sourcing and community upliftment, Woolies is putting eco conscious principles into play and setting some big goals for the near future!
They now run a Sustainable Cotton Project and many of their garments are produced using better cotton.
It’s fantastic to see big brands starting to embrace the move towards eco-conscious business, this means that our consumer efforts and demands for more sustainable products and business ethics are working!
Pop into your local Woolworths or shop online!
As consumers we cast a vote every time we spend our money.
Put your money towards the future you want to see and shop from brands and businesses that support your ethical values – together we can create change!
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