Emma Longden is Sitting Pretty!

Photo of Emma

Sitting Pretty, founded by Emma Longden in 2009, 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. With environmental awareness, ethical trading and integrity underpinning the label’s philosophy, Sitting Pretty is particular about sourcing natural and environmentally friendly fibres such as organic cotton and hemps. 

Care and respect is given to the people who produce and make our collections possible. Our collections 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.

Let’s chat to Emma!

Tell us how Sitting Pretty came to be – and how it has impacted your life.

I started it in 2009, kind of shooting from the hip. Rebranded in 2013 as I began to see the impacts of fast fashion, so I really wanted to steer the brand in a direction that suited my own values. It’s been an amazing learning experience, and I hope it continues to be so.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Feeling Good – Nina Simone

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

Probably starting Sitting Pretty and opening a store within the first year, with my 4 year old in tow!

If Mars were liveable, would you accept a one-way ticket there?

Hmmm, what an adventure … I’d love to say yes, but no I’d miss my people too much and the sea.

If you were given one thousand acres of land what would you do with it?

I’d offer like-minded friends to build off-the-grid eco homes, have a permaculture farm, and return the rest to nature.

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? 


How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I wear a few to death and then I test our own shoes out so I actually have no idea.

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Something plant-based and asian

How would people communicate in a perfect world?

In person, and not on the phone!!

Where do you find your inspiration?

My worst question….everywhere, mostly in nature. I find downtime in nature makes me feel inspired again and so it rolls from there.

If you woke up to 300 unread emails, how would you prioritise which ones to answer?

I would skim through to check out what’s urgent , answer those and then just get through it methodically.

Where do you go and what do you do to find peace and recharge?

A surf in the ocean would be first choice, failing that the mountain.

If you could write one new law that everybody had to obey, what would it be?

Be kind.

What, if anything, have you ever re-gifted?

Quite a few things. Mainly interior gifts that really don’t work for me.

What is the most interesting thing you have seen or read this week?

The new David Attenborough documentary. It’s a must see!

What skill or craft would you like to master?

I am currently studying a trauma release technique which I hope to master.

What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment?

If you want to change the world, start with changing to a plant-based diet. Make conscious choices when it comes to anything you purchase. Ask questions about how things are made, who makes them and what processes are used. Spend time in nature and notice how your appreciation for it grows.


You will find Sitting Pretty and other businesses making a difference in our Green Directory . If your business is eco-friendly – LIST IT HERE

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