CHIC THAT CARES

Toyota Connect/Lexus Life - - STYLE -

There are brands that look good, and there are brands that look good and do good, pay­ing it for­ward. This grow­ing wave of local ar­ti­sanal fash­ion brands is cut­ting-edge with­out cut­ting cor­ners, demon­strat­ing that fash­ion can have a con­science.

They em­power peo­ple in their com­mu­ni­ties, thereby chang­ing the lives not just of in­di­vid­u­als, but of en­tire fam­i­lies. Giv­ing back for these pro­duc­ers is their ob­jec­tive – and it’s not merely a tax de­duc­tion on a bal­ance sheet. They be­lieve in cre­at­ing a fu­ture for the next gen­er­a­tion, aim­ing to change the fash­ion in­dus­try from cap­i­tal­ist to car­ing. Pre­fer­ring sus­tain­able and eth­i­cal ma­te­ri­als or do­nat­ing a por­tion of prof­its to their com­mu­ni­ties, these are the brands of the fu­ture.

They be­lieve that if you can see a prod­uct be­ing made and know where the ma­te­ri­als come from, you too will care more about the en­vi­ron­ment. Key driv­ers for these busi­ness-own­ers are sav­ing the planet, cul­ti­vat­ing an eco­con­scious so­ci­ety, em­pow­er­ing peo­ple to im­prove their lives, de­vel­op­ing skills, cre­at­ing jobs and restor­ing dig­nity to those who have very lit­tle. They em­ploy the pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged, dis­abled and marginalised.

These trail-blaz­ers are find­ing a way to make a gen­uine dif­fer­ence in the lives of thou­sands of South Africans, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously build­ing a sus­tain­able, prof­itable busi­ness.

Be in­spired by six of to­mor­row’s fash­ion state­ment-mak­ers, from cre­at­ing unique and planet-friendly bags to bam­boo socks that, for each pair sold, sees a child in a town­ship wear­ing school socks; from nat­u­ral fab­rics in Plet­ten­berg Bay to school and surf bags made from waste; from slow fash­ion to dis­tinc­tive, be­spoke pot­tery that graces many dis­cern­ing homes. Be­come part of a move­ment that’s gather­ing mo­men­tum – buy it, wear it and share it.

THESE DAYS IT’S NOT SO MUCH ABOUT STYLE FOR STYLE’S SAKE: CON­SUMERS ARE VOT­ING WITH THEIR PUR­CHAS­ING POWER AND OPT­ING FOR BRANDS THAT ARE FASH­ION-FOR­WARD – AND PAY IT FOR­WARD, TOO!

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