In a country where we have enough wind and sun to generate electricity, why are we still using coal? Faced with a global crisis of plastic filling up oceans and landfills, why do we create more instead of finding innovative ways to reuse what has already been created? Lara Klawikowski’s SS21 Fashion Week ‘Inflorescence’ range gives us a shining example of what the future of sustainable fashion should look like.
With global giants like Adidas collaborating with Parley to create garments manufactured out of recycled ocean plastic, we can be proud to have a like-minded local designer investing in the future of the planet right here on our doorstep. Lara Klawikowski didn’t let the lack of local sustainable fabrics stand in the way of her design process. When she couldn’t find the sustainable fabric she required locally, she started creating her own. Lara sources her recycled materials from Rewoven, a sustainability initiative that collects fabric off-cuts from CMTs around Cape Town, that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Her beautiful designs take on an organic nature of their own seen in her ‘Inflorescence’ range recently unveiled at SA Fashion Week which is a range created from recycled materials. Lara gives us an insight into her thought process saying, “I was inspired to design an uplifting collection in a happy colour palette with textures, shapes and proportions that inspire women to dream of days of dressing up beyond the pandemic. The goal of this collection was to show that waste can be transformed into fashionable and glamorous designs.”
Lara explains her journey of creating interesting textures saying, “I also up cycled perforated rubber and 100% recyclable Spun-bond for the designs. I transformed the waste into flexible, tactile, sculptural panels of material that mimic the detail and texture of flowers. Each panel in the designs of this collection is uniquely hand-crafted at our studio making each garment bespoke with its own idiosyncrasies like a flower.”
The shoes used in our editorial are from Matsidiso, a Fair Trade and Proudly South African shoe brand with twenty years of shoe manufacturing behind it. Matsidiso collaborated with Lara Klawikowski for South African Fashion Week 2021 to supply her with the shoes for her range. They employ eleven experienced cobblers with the aim of building the SA economy and offering growth to each individual in the business. Their aim is to encourage their clients to turn away from mass production and support local businesses as well as educating consumers about sustainability whilst aiding their team with the right skills and salaries to keep them empowered.
The jewellery featured in our editorial is from Yellow by Jeslea, manufactured and carefully hand made using sterling silver and brass. Jeslea is committed to manufacturing locally from sustainable, ethical sources, with each piece being handmade in her Woodstock studio. Her brand ethos is to “create pieces of art that are not only wearable but that are progressive and timeless and that make people feel good.”
Against the backdrop of the Darling Wind Farm we are reminded of yet another threat to our environment, our daily energy consumption. Wind-generated electricity is far cleaner and less environmentally destructive than coal and fossil fuel generators, therefore causing less air pollution. With these fashion brands and environmental initiatives investing in the growth and sustainability in our country, should we as consumers not also follow in their footsteps? It takes more effort, thought and investment to create ethical and sustainable products but at the end of the day the cost of investing in a future of ethical industry and fashion far outweighs the alternative.
PHOTOGRAPHER : RICHARD KEPPEL SMITH @richardkeppelsmith @lmda.world
FASHION STYLIST : LYAL SEBA @lyalseba @sixloveartistmanagement
HAIR & MAKEUP : RAINE TAUBER @rainetauber @lmda.world
DIGITAL OPERATOR : GRANT SMITHERS @will.b_travellingberries
CREATIVE DIRECTION: LYAL SEBA & RICHARD KEPPEL SMITH
TEXT BY LYAL SEBA
A SPECIAL THANKS TO DARLING WIND FARM