Fast fashion makes shopping for clothes more affordable, but it comes at an environmental cost. What does it mean to consumers when it comes to deciding what to spend their money on and where to look for eco-friendly and ethically made clothing. Below we round up one of the best Sustainable fashion brands in South Africa.
Fundudzi’s entire approach to fashion is centered around sustainability, the label is about clean, essential fashion that makes you feel comfortable, trendy, and environmentally friendly wearing.
Founded in 2004 by fashion entrepreneur and communicator Craig Jacobs, the idea that you should be the change you wish to see is what influenced the brand to come into existence. “The name Fundudzi is inspired by a body of water, Lake Fundudzi in Limpopo, which is one of Africa’s most precious ecological treasures as well as a sacred site for the vhaVenda people”.
The label is an independently, ethically, and sustainably made brand, dedicated to upholding a positive environmental and social impact. Fundudzi’s sustainably crafted designs are made from fabrics including organic and locally sourced material from Lesotho. The brand works closely with communities in South Africa, Mozambique, and Kenya, and all the pieces are made in Africa.
Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs has showcased at SA Fashion week, Joburg Fashion Week, Paris, Stockholm, Maputo, and Luanda amongst others.
In 2009, Fundudzi formed part of an international exhibition on sustainable design in Copenhagen, as part of the World Climate Summit.
Istyleblaq talks to Craig Jacobs about fashion and sustainability.
Fundudzi advocates sustainable fashion – How important is sustainable fashion?
The fashion industry is a significant contributor to the environment and human damage therefore, sustainable fashion is important in addressing these issues. It is just easy to look at a beautiful, finished piece of clothing in a store and forget there is a story and life cycle behind it. Being aware of all the downsides of the fashion industry will hopefully lead to more conscious consumerism.
Where do you find inspiration about sustainable fashion?
We are conscious of our surroundings and inspired by all sorts of nature. The inspiration behind the brand’s name is from the body of water, Lake Fundudzi in Limpopo, which is one of Africa’s most precious ecological treasures as well as a sacred site for the vhaVenda people”.
There are many definitions of sustainable fashion – What’s your definition of sustainable fashion?
In simple terms, sustainable fashion creates fashion in a way that is most considerate of humanity and the environment, reducing environmental damage.
Let’s talk about new designers who, in your opinion, are setting perfect standards for Ethical fashion?
To be frank, for me, these are the designers who stand out for me as emerging sustainable designers.
Lukhanyo Mdingi, who was recently selected to join the Ethical Fashion Initiative Accelerator program.
I also love Kwanga Qusheka’s approach to exploring hemp – he is a student at the Design Academy of Fashion in Cape Town.
In general, my favourite local sustainable brands including Galago, who make the most incredible handmade sandals, and the thoughtful textiles by Sindiso Khumalo. And it would be important for me to highlight on the international stage, I look up to Katharine Hamnett and Stella McCartney who are both trailblazers the way for many of us, and retailers like Country Road who are taking a more thoughtful approach to the manner in which they produce.
What’s next for the Brand “Fundudzi”, and is there a future for sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion has a long way to go, but the industry is opening up to the idea as more brands and customers are now embracing environmentally friendly products and shopping habit.
Fundudzi will continue to reinvent itself and advocate for sustainable fashion.
Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs:
Africa Rise in Sandton City and SpaceMan in Rosebank@TheZone.