It has never been more important for brands and consumers to embrace a more sustainable and ethical approach to fashion and lifestyle. Thankfully, many players in the fashion industry are listening to the needs of our planet and making greener and more conscious choices as a result. Simona Stone takes you through our roundup of must-know brands to shop or follow for sustainable fashion in Cape Town.
Mohair Mill Shop lives by the philosophy of “buy local, be conscious, live natural”. What better way to describe local sustainability efforts than from the beautiful rural landscapes our country has to offer? Boasting the widest variety of mohair products in South Africa and the world, the 21-year-old store offers a sustainable solution to beating the winter chills.
Soft scarves, cosy blankets, specially designed socks, and bundles of yarn are just some of what this local-loving store has to offer. All these products come in a wide variety of colours, from your classic greys in Pebble Beach and Charcoal, to something a little more exciting, like Sunshine, Lagoon blue, or Harvest Lime.
Comfort doesn’t have to weigh on your conscience. Mohair is a sustainable, renewable, and completely natural fibre originating from Angora goat fleeces. Its luxurious texture and wide range of colour choices make it the ultimate store for a high-quality, nature-loving luxe lifestyle.
Where to get it: Mohair Mill Shop Cape Town is located at 35 Kendal Road, Diep River. You can also purchase from Mohair Mill Shop online. Mohair Mill Shop has multiple store destinations in the Western Cape. You can find them in Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route and in the city.
HempLove is a female-owned sustainable fashion brand based in the heart of Cape Town. This brand was born from a love for Africa and its people, and it offers timeless, good quality, and immaculate designs with a conscious and caring eco-footprint.
All the garments are designed in-house, manufactured in Cape Town, and supplied to local and international markets. Made from hemp-based fabric blends, these elegant clothing pieces are manufactured with a low ecological footprint that is more water-wise and farming efficient.
Up to date, the HempLove team has focused on women’s attire, but they will be launching their first men’s range at the start of Spring 2021. HempLove takes “support local” seriously and proudly uses a fully transparent supply chain to promote job opportunities in South Africa.
If you are passionate about a sustainability lifestyle that boasts both beauty and kindness, Hemplove offers the perfect place to shop environmentally friendly and support a brand with a passionate and inspiring women-led team. Exciting projects and products ensure that Hemplove has a bright future ahead for itself, and the clothing brand is equally offering new beginnings for Mother Earth.
Where to get it: HempLove is available at a number of local stockists. Learn more about the brand, or shop online here.
Mad Dogs has been a powerful voice behind long-lasting comfort since 1993. Its philosophy centres around durable cotton goods that assure high quality for everyday wearing. Spice up your wardrobe with something that is not only made ethically but also made to spark joy through vibrant colour palettes and cute patterns.
Mad Dogs makes its clothing with premium cotton, which contains absolutely no artificial blends. A quality that is unfortunately rare within today’s wasteful fashion industry. Each and every component of these garments are made with kindness, entirely in South Africa.
Known for their energetic and joyful prints featuring playful pups and pawprints, Mad Dogs garments span from Unisex, to Menswear, Womenswear, and plenty for the young ones too.
Be sure to check out their collaboration collections with SA comedy legend Schalk Bezuidenhout and musical talent Das Kapital. Each signature garment is guaranteed to be made in South Africa, 100% cotton, with a six-month guarantee. A sure sign that sustainability is about quality over quantity, and equally about some good old-fashioned fun.
Where to get it: Shop the Mad Dogs range for delivery via their online store, or Made By Artisans marketplace. They also pop up on OneDayOnly daily deals. And many more retail stockists are in the pipeline, so keep an eye on their social media for updates.
Chommies is a Cape Town brand that brings together friendship and the South African spirit by creating handcrafted lifestyle pieces for you and the animals you love. The origin story of Chommies tells you all you need to know about what this brand brings: after meeting and bonding through an unexpected friendship forged between their two dogs at a market, the two Chommies founders connected to create a business partnership and this distinctly Capetonian brand.
At the core of Chommies and in everything that they do, lies the most unique relationship – the one between you and your dog. Its pet range includes collars and leashes for both cats and dogs. These accessories are available in different colour trimmings and sizes. Your pets are guaranteed to be top of the trends, thanks to local manufacturers and materials. You can also spoil your canine friend with a handwoven dog bed, or specially-made Chommies dog treats in flavours like Karoo Goat and West Coast Hake.
Human customers are also in for a line of beautiful tops and accessories. Take a look at their range of Mohair jerseys, cardigans, hoodies, and puff blouses, available in a range of eye-popping signature colour schemes like Granadilla, Hermanus, Sage, Canary, and Peach. The mohair is sourced from free-roaming Karoo goats who are hand-shorn and handled with care. Accessories like phone necklaces, chic woven baskets, and key rings offer the perfect way to spice up your errand-running.
Treat yourself or your pet to this premium range of artisanal items inspired by good friends and good times in the beautiful Cape. Or maybe treat a chommie. It’s not a bad idea either.
GiLo Lifestyle is a women-run store creating garments that retain their beauty whilst simultaneously ensuring the compassionate transformation of the fashion industry. It has all you need to be kinder to the human beings, animals, and the land around you. GiLo lifestyle is rewriting the fashion handbook to keep it stylish and comfortable while supporting practices that are ethical, environmentally friendly, and empathetic.
If you’re looking for a new jacket in these cool months, check out GiLo Lifestyle’s Vegan-Friendly Puffer Jackets. These offer the perfect opportunity to avoid the cold-hearted practices of the down industry and keep your heart and body warm with these jacket alternatives. These winter warmers are made from a renewably sourced fibre containing annually renewable ingredients which are plant-based.
GiLo Lifestyle is fighting cruelty in the fashion industry with a whole range of stylish and sustainable products. Feel free to check out its assortment of golf shorts for ladies and men, kiddies’ and mens swim shorts, mens lifestyle shorts and boardies and ladies’ skorts. These garments are made from 92% recycled plastic found in the ocean mixed with spandex for 4-way stretch. These clothing items are your chance to join GiLo Lifestyle in its innovative quest to ethically transform cruelty in the fashion industry by (Gi)ving (Lo)ve back to the planet. Fashion-forward gets a whole new meaning.
The Changing Room is a store offering a new lease on life for the finest luxury, designer, and vintage clothing. This omnichannel marketplace gives you the chance to buy or sell high-quality, authenticated branded products.
How it works: consignors receive money for their pre-owned authentic designer pieces and buyers have access to a wide range of luxury items at reasonable prices. The Changing Room stocks the many names synonymous with opulence: think along the lines of the traditional elite brands, like Yves Saint Laurent, Zadig & Voltaire, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Hermès. You can also find tops of the trends, like Off-White and Balenciaga.
The Changing Room’s products include a wide range of men’s and women’s clothing, handbags, shoes, and accessories. Its mission is to extend the life cycle of luxury items, in order to decrease wasteful manufacturing and spending.
Where to get it: Shop online, or at their brick-and-mortar outlet at Shop 3 and 4, Ground Floor, Grove Building, Grove Avenue, Claremont, Cape Town
Me&B’s playful brand personality, paired with its inclusive ethos, merge to form a unique answer to the everlasting quest to make sustainable fashion accessible, and equally exquisite. This mother-daughter duo is putting an end to the rules which restrict how we enjoy beautiful garments.
Me&B’s collection is made locally, in a bid to promote employment. It is also packaged in compostable delivery bags, in an effort to minimise environmental impact. The store features something for everyone: from beautiful formal pieces to easy comfort pieces for the everyday.
Say hello to a fashion brand that firmly believes in fashion for all: regardless of your age, size, shape, race or sexuality. We all deserve to feel good and do good with the clothing we wear.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) shop makes saving the planet simple and pleasing to the eye. We are all quite familiar with that adorable black and white panda symbolising the WWF. Whether it’s fighting for renewable energy consumption, advocating for meaningful climate activism, or protecting our water supply, the WWF celebrates South Africa’s natural beauty and equally calls for the respectful treatment it so rightly deserves.
These sentiments are fully reflected in the organisation’s selection of clothing and products for sale in support of the amazing work it does. Sustainability truly is at the heart of what they do. The WWF is taking steps in all aspects and those of its manufacturing partners to decrease its environmental footprint, and increase its positive impact. A selection of jackets, masks, and t-shirts are available for ladies and gentlemen. You can also kit out your kids with t-shirts, babygrows, and jackets. Maybe treat them to a gift that promotes an appreciation for the living things around them: the WWF store stocks plush toys, from polar bears to fluffy spotted cheetahs.
The organisation’s current and planned apparel all have genuine eco-credentials. It uses proudly African cotton, natural or recycled materials, and environmentally friendly dyes in its products. Your purchase supports its drive to produce more sustainable products and take its first steps to create a self-sustaining, circular economy.
Where to get it: Shop the full range online at shop.wwfsa.org.za
Sapmok, or the Afrikaans word Kompas spelt backwards, began in 2015 as a modern slow-fashion Africa adventure brand, with an aim to support conservation efforts.
Sampok’s shoes are created by some of the best cobblers in South Africa, with comfort being a priority. Their shoe sizes range from children’s size 1 to men’s size 14. All cutting, measuring and stitching is done from scratch, allowing great amounts of creativity in the manufacturing process. Their shoes are tailored to give an authentic feel and support adventure and real-life experiences.
Sapmok’s original collection focused on Vellies (Velskoene), however, they have recently launched their range of sustainable and locally-made cork flip-flops. Sapmok also creates leather belts, slippers, and bags. Their Nepal Bag is their version of a duffel bag – big enough to carry everything you need, but small enough to be hand luggage.
Where to get it: Shop online, or visit their store at The Watershed, The V&A Waterfront, or Safari Outdoor in Stellenbosch.