14 Sustainable Fashion Brands In South Africa To Shop RN

by | Dec 6, 2023 | Style

If you haven’t heard, the fashion industry is in a crisis. A sustainability crisis, that is. From items that travel across seas to be in your wardrobe (costing you less; but footing the bill is the environment) to poorly disintegrating fabrics that release noxious gases when they inevitably end up in landfills, sustainable fashion in South Africa has become the topic of conversation when we talk about fashion.

What’s bad about the fashion industry?

Per Sustain Your Style, a home for learning about and shopping sustainable fashion, there are some frightening statistics about the way we shop. Compared to 20 years ago, we’re producing 400% more clothes. From this number, around 50% of the clothes in your wardrobe go unworn. Not an issue, until you dump it, when the chemicals inside each garment emit dangerous substances into the environment. And get this: fashion is the second largest polluter in the world, coming after the oil industry.

What’s being polluted? Water, when wastewater from treating textiles is discarded and ends up in rivers which flow into the sea. Fresh, clean water turns to waste when used to create clothes. To wit, it can take up to 200 tons of freshwater per ton of dyed fabric. Microfibres, from each item you wear, get released when you wash them. And these go into the sea and back into our bodies when we eat fish. The whole cycle is deadly and unhealthy for ourselves and the environment.

How can we do sustainable fashion in South Africa?

It’s a vicious cycle, but there are loads you can do about it.

Buy local

For starters, look to buying local – this means clothes have a production cycle that starts and ends right here in South Africa, lessening the global impact on the environment. It also supports the local industry, promoting jobs for textile workers and the industry at large.

Buy natural

You can also look for natural fabrics when shopping and buy quality clothes that’ll last a lifetime. What’s great is that a few of the South African retailers offer tailoring and fix-it services for when an item gets damaged. This way, you’ll be able to keep wearing your beloved garb for seasons upon seasons.

Don’t throw away old clothes

If you don’t have the skills to upcycle out-of-date or old and broken clothes, donate them to a good cause, like a charity store. Alternatively, make some dough from them by selling pre-loved items (in good condition) on sites like Yaga.

READ MORE: 4 Things To Look Out For, If You Really Want To Live Sustainably

Sustainable fashion brands in South Africa

Here, we’ve rounded up just a few of the accessible sustainable fashion brands that we love in SA. They’re all different, with unique styles to showcase and they’re all for circular fashion that’s inclusive, affordable and sustainable.


Me&B sustainable fashion south africa

Not only is Me&B a local, size-inclusive brand, but they also pride themselves on their sustainability. They try and keep as much of their design, production and manufacturing process local, with garments made in Cape Town. Their packaging is completely compostable, made from various renewable and plant-based materials that will break down in your home’s compost within 180 days.

One big thing we love? Free alterations! If your garment no longer fits the way you’d like, Me&B offer a free alteration service, eliminating the chances that their garments end up in landfills.

Sage & Sunday

Sage & Sunday

Per their website, Sage & Sunday are “driven by our steadfast commitment to ethical and eco-friendly practices, creating a positive ripple effect on our planet.” To that end, the sustainable brand’s garments are created from hemp linen and cruelty-free cork leather (who knew cork could do that?) as well as recycled plastic for their bags and accessories. They also believe in keeping things local and uplifting communities in the process. That means supporting local artisans and industry. They, like M&B, offer a lifetime fix-it guarantee on all products, so every piece lasts a lifetime.

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Country Road

Country Road sustainable fashion south africa

With their new store gunning for the 5-Star Green Star interior certification, Country Road is renewing its vow to a sustainable approach to fashion. Throughout the store, you’ll find markers indicating how hard they’ve worked to commit to sustainable design, from garments to the store’s interiors. Fixtures incorporate recycled plastics, carpets are made using recycled polyester yarn, upholstery is made using recycled wool, and a curated collection of furniture is sourced locally. This seeps into the clothes on sale. Cotton is the biggest material in fashion. To this end, they’ve embarked on a ‘responsible cotton’ journey. This includes includes Better Cotton, organic cotton, recycled cotton and Australian Cotton.


Boody sustainable fashion south africa

An Australian brand, Boody prides itself on their sustainability. Their manufacturing processes are eco-certified and their garments are made from ethically sourced, 100% organically grown bamboo. Why bamboo? It’s highly breathable and incredibly comfortable. Their range, shoppable in SA, includes underwear, loungewear and activewear.


Selfi south africa

One thing we love here at WH? Education. And Selfi’s website is full of it. While you shop, know this: all fabrics can biodegrade, but what’s released into the environment as that process takes place can be less desirable. Per Selfi, “synthetic fabrics release chemicals, causing them to emit greenhouse gasses, which can cause 600 years of methane emissions”. The kinder alternative? Ramie, rayon and linen. Shop these from Selfi in a variety of styles, all of which are chic and will be in style longer than low-rise jeans. The range is plastic-free, low-waste and kinder to the environment.

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Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty fashion

Find 100% natural material (no nasty waste once it biodegrades) and clothes that have been cared for throughout the production cycle (using borehole water instead of fresh; no chemicals or harmful elements to be seen). What stands out is their commitment to paying manufacturing staff fair wages, and they’re included in the discussion around pricing garments. To boot, a circular approach lives within the production cycle: offcuts of fabric are used to make bags for shoes, scrunchies, headscarves and face masks. Now that’s commitment.

Spiritgirl Activewear

Spiritgirl Activewear sustainable fashion south africa

You don’t need to look far for sustainable activewear. Through reclaiming ocean-bound plastic bottles, they’ve saved over 12,000 of them and have repurposed them to form functional, comfy workout gear and swimwear. Spiritgirl is funding plastic collection across Ocean Co.’s partner collection network, supporting projects that create the most impact for communities across the globe. All products are made in Cape Town – and they’re gorgeous.

Michael Ludwig

Michael Ludwig sustainable fashion south africa

Spoil yourself with ethical designer wear. This brand follows a zero-waste policy. Off-cuts are reused for accessories, binding, pocket bags and linings. Fabrics are locally sourced, working partners and employees receive favourable wages and the studio itself has a low environmental impact.

READ MORE: The Hottest 2023 Swimwear Trends And How To Wear ‘Em


N3YH fashion

Embrace the slow fashion revolution. All garments here are locally and ethically produced in Cape Town, while they’re also based around the zero waste philosophy. From off-cuts, they repurpose fabric to create accessories and baby rompers, so nothing goes to waste. “Exclusivity and quality trump quantity as our clothing is not mass-produced and is specifically designed to create a unique outfit for each body type,” says Michelle Duckitt, Designer at N3YH.

Jam And Cheese

Jam And Cheese sustainable fashion south africa

Named after the sandwich founder Kayleigh van Huyssteen’s father would whip up for her every day for school, this brand fuses being environmentally focused with a love for fashion. Sustainably sourced fabrics are cut from machines that are powered by solar; fabrics are recycled or are ethical by nature. Think sustainably harvested wood that makes up Ecovero viscose or responsibly-made linen. Any materials that simply can’t be used are added to another brand, Maud Creations, which uses the fabric as stuffing in its pieces.


Mazhai fashion

Pairing timeless elegance with 100% natural fibre fabrics, you’ll go far with a Mazhai piece in your wardrobe. The entire Mazhai collection is produced in small volumes, through an ethical practice. A sustainable fashion brand in South Africa? Right here.

READ MORE: Exactly How To Style This Season’s Hottest Denims


Titch sustainable fashion south africa

Per Titch, the brand was borne from wanting timeless pieces that could be worn for a long time, without becoming outdated. From there, things blossomed into a company that prizes minimal waste, natural and locally sourced fabrics and materials and a commitment to creating a sustainable production process from start to end. Each piece is made to transition well from season to season and from year to year. No untrendy or dated looks here.

Good Clothing

Good Clothing

Here, you’ll find cute, highly wearable styles in fabulous prints. And all their clothing is lovingly made in South Africa, with the impetus to reinvigorate the local textiles industry and move away from the heavy imported status of clothing in South Africa. Plus, their prints are considered: each garment is meant to evoke joy, since Good believes that clothing can be a powerful wellness tool.

Hannah Lavery

titch sustainable fashion south africa

Made in the slow fashion stem, each piece is crafted to last a lifetime and fit and flow with your life’s seasons – not with the trends. Fabrics are all-natural and feel comfortable to the touch while being plant-based. Within the offering, you’ll find versatile styles available in linen, bamboo and rayon. Plus, we love that you can shop according to your body shape from their website, which streamlines your options and takes out a lot of the guesswork around what a piece would look like on your bod.

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