21.07.17 by Aneeqah Samsodien

Since becoming a World Design Capital, Cape Town and South Africa has been in the spotlight and has been given the opportunity to showcase it’s ethical fashion and fair trade manufacturing to the world.

Fortunately, with the help of unions like SACTWU (South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union), our country is known for fair trade and equal rights in the manufacturing industry. Local designers are now focusing on minimising their carbon footprints by developing local skills, sustainable production, recycling and producing hand made garments.

By supporting these brands, we are directly tackling the issue of global warming, the rise of fast fashion, and unfair and unethical work conditions many face around the world.

We have created a list of a few companies and designers in and around Cape Town that trade ethically and sustainably:

I & I Clothing; Cape Town by Shukrie Joel

One of our favourites, I & I produces classic, tailored pieces that are exceptional in quality. The brand makes use of hemp cottons and manufactures all it’s clothing locally, with a core focus on building relationships with it’s manufacturers. Shukrie works with smaller factories around Cape Town, where he is able to engage and consult with employees and in this way, controlling the quality. He believes that your level of concern as a designer – where your manufacturers work, what their working conditions and hours are like, directly correlates to your end product.

I & I is stocked in Cape Town at the Cornerstore. Check out their Instagram page.

I & I by Shukrie Joel. Photography by Taariq Latiff

I & I by Shukrie Joel. Photography by Taariq Latiff

Sitting Pretty: Cape Town

Sitting Pretty’s foundation was built on creating garments that are carefully sourced for their natural and environmentally friendly fibres. The company was founded in 2009 and all products are designed and manufactured in Cape Town. Ethical trading and sustainable manufacturing shows in their simple, neutral and classic pieces.

Check out their website here;

Source: Sitting Pretty

Source: Sitting Pretty

Fancy Pants products

Parenting just got eco-friendly and fashionable with the rise of re-usable cloth nappies. These two mothers from George found a niche in the market for machine washable cloth diapers that are made with bamboo fibres. A baby goes through an average of 3,000 disposable nappies in it’s first year; this is a massive contribution to landfill waste that is non-biodegradable. With reusable nappies, you’d only need about 20 units; they’re also extremely good on the eye as they come in a wide variety of retro prints and colours.

Fancy Pants Nappies. Source: FancyPants

Fancy Pants Nappies. Source: FancyPants

The Joinery

Based in Cape Town, The Joinery is an ethically inspired fashion, product and lifestyle brand. The company believes in collaborating with local artisans and sewing cooperatives in and around Cape Town, creating long-lasting relationships, and empowering women in local townships. Most of their garments are produced by hand to minimise their carbon footprint. The brand was founded and is run by two sisters with the aim of creating long-lasting, environmentally considerate pieces and products.

Ethical Fashion: Source; The Joinery

Source; The Joinery

Real and Simple Denim

This company specialises in selvedge denim; superior denim products that are produced locally by skilled craftsmen. The company’s ethos lie in empowering the local community to learn how to make great product. All products are made in limited quantities and allows for more detail to go into the manufacturing process. Their denims were made to last and mostly come in the raw denim state, ready to be worn in, faded and shaped by your body and wear. Real and Simple has a concept store in Cape Town Shortmarket Street; they also stock at the Neighbourgoods Market in the Old Biscuit Mill. The brand can be found in Johannesburg and Durban at Spaceman.

Ethical Fashion: Real and Simple Denim. Source: RealandSimpleDenim

Real and Simple Denim. Source: RealandSimpleDenim

We would love to promote local trade and consumerism in South Africa; why would we not want to support brands that are this awesome?

Are there any other brands you know of that should be on this list? Pop us a mail and get in touch.