The Evolution of Fashion | 5 South African Fashion Brands That Are Promoting​ Environmental Sustainability

While scrolling through Instagram, we came across H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collection which launched at the end of September. The collection aims to promote the use of recycled materials by providing a selection of sustainable fashion pieces produced from organic materials.

After doing some research and reading into the topic a bit more, we found that there are a number of brands – both locally and internationally, that make positive social and environmental contributions to the sustainability of the planet- and with environmental issues growing at an alarming rate, numerous companies across the world are becoming more environmentally cautious.

Growing more aware of the fashion industry’s harmful effects on the environment, fashion brands are evolving and have started producing clothing, bags, jewellery and other products using environmentally friendly materials. Here, we look at some South African fashion brands that are promoting environmental sustainability.

Earthling & Moon

Earthling & Moon is a Cape Town-based brand that was created by Daniela Canny. Earthling & Moon offers a range of locally crafted clothing and swimwear designed to be loved for seasons to come. The brand wishes to bring uniquely beautiful items to the South African market. Classic shapes and luxurious fabrics created for the sun soaked days and starry nights.

The fabrics used to create Earthling & Moon pieces are sourced locally, and are proudly manufactured in South Africa.  Their swimwear fabric is sourced from Italy and is made from regenerated ocean waste. Earthling & Moon have joined forces to support the “Healthy Seas” initiative in working towards cleaning up the planet’s waters from marine pollution.

The brand’s packaging is sustainable, plastic-free and reusable. The fabric garment bags are made by a team of ladies living in the lower Molweni Valley; these are a group of ladies who are unemployed and live in impoverished conditions, and Earthling & Moon are working towards creating a livelihood for them. 

Hemp Love

Female owned clothing brand, Hemp Love is a fashion brand that was birthed from a sisterhood based on honesty, transparency and a shared passion for nature and the environment – transparency throughout the whole process, from their raw material sourcing, designing and manufacturing process, our environmental footprint as well as our involvement in local communities throughout Africa to promote sustainability in every step taken.

Hemplove aims to challenge and drive a change in the textile and cosmetic industry in Africa by creating awareness and promoting a conscious living as a desired lifestyle.


Established in 2004 by entrepreneur Craig Jacobs, Fundudzi is a clothing brand that believes that clothing should be a reflection of one’s conscience and is therefore committed to sustainability not only through the materials selected for every piece created and the brand’s approach to their design but in every aspect of their work.

The label was born out of a desire to help change the perception of our home, Africa, through presenting ranges inspired, designed and created here according to the highest level of quality.

The local clothing brand provides a capsule wardrobe for free spirited individuals seeking pieces with a distinctive signature which subtly draws inspiration from the people and places unsoiled by the noise of modern life.

The Joinery

The Joinery brand takes pride in designing and producing organic, unique goods, ethical fashion, and accessories, while striving for a high-end design aesthetic with an African conscience.

Their bespoke products and fashion collections are produced by sewing cooperatives, and artisans based in and around the townships of Cape Town. The brand uses eco fabrics such as Tencel, Linen, Rayon and Hemp fabrics where ever they can, as well as fibers that are grown without the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilisers.

The joinery proudly makes tailor-made products from 100% recycled plastic bottles; saving recycled plastic helps the brand to make beautiful and up-cycled items and garments. They partner with manufacturers who share their sustainable interest in promoting carbon-free, carbon-neutral and carbon-negative products or materials wherever possible.


Johannesburg-based artisan brand, Piece, operates using ethical trading principles and responsibly harvested raw materials. The brand is constantly exploring new ideas with Southern Africa’s emerging and established artists and artisans.

Piece focuses on creating a sustainable business for rural and urban producers and bringing to the market unique items inspired by traditions or using traditional techniques.

Between 10 and 5