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December 12, 2012

(Hand) Made in Cape Town

Photo courtesy Fittees.

We can finally say it; hipsters have changed the world. They might not know it, or even care, but these counter-culture kids helped steer a global movement – one that lauds responsible consumerism – to far beyond what was once, a fad. "Old school" values that speak against western consumerism, excess and assembly line glut have made a comeback. And from the looks of it, hipster culture is here to stay.

Ethical shopping – you’ve come to the right place

Buying local products that are handmade, environmentally responsible and made by people and not machines is now a priority, albeit a fashionable one. If you’re looking to buy local, start with these great (and green) gift ideas.

Fittees, as the name suggests, makes fitted t-shirts. Based in Victoria Road, Woodstock, this local t-shirt factory is a far cry from a sweatshop. The company employs locals who make the shirts themselves. Wholesale stock can be ordered, but this labour-friendly outlet specialises in tailored, once-off fitted t-shirts, vests, dresses and jeans.

Made from 100% ringspun cotton yarn, knitted on a 28g knitting machine, Fittees’ "Made in Cape Town" shirts are available in black, white, yellow, green, red and maroon, as well as a variety of special colours – like petrol blue, chocolate and olive. Check out the custom range of Fittees designer dresses, sweaters and hoodies.

Photo courtesy Own Grown

How do I get my hands on some? Visit 330 Victoria Road in Woodstock, or order via email info@fittees.com and iwearshirts@fittees.com.

OwnGrown is a Cape Town-based initiative that is just about as green as it gets. This environmentally friendly, urban solutions provider manufactures and installs living walls and food gardens, and specialises in rain water harvesting, composting, worm farms, roof gardens and eco-friendly cleaning products.

What OwnGrown does is simple – it assess your specific needs and custom designs a solution for you, be it a vertical living wall made up of recycled plastic and hundreds of cacti, or an apple box food and herb garden that fits perfectly on an outside patio.

Photo courtesy Streetwires

How do I get my hands on some? Contact the super friendly (and very helpful) Tarryn or Mike on + 27 (0)84 812 3882 and + 27 (0)72 777 7897 or visit their website and fill out the form. They’ll call you back. 

Streetwires has been around the block, and then some, and continues to deliver custom designed artwork and handmade, unique wire and bead craft. A proudly Fair Trade organisation that creates jobs, Streetwires is a collaboration between local designers, crafters and sellers who come together to make and sell gorgeous wire and bead craft.

Hand made by over 60 permanently employed artists who work from the studio in Shortmarket Street, Bo-Kaap, wire art and bead craft from Streetwise is in a league of its own when it comes to clever design, innovation and fun. They do volume and once-off orders, and nothing is too crazy, or too big to bead. They’ve even made a Volkswagen Beetle once…to scale!

How do I get my hands on some? Visit the shop at 77 Shortmarket Street, Bo-Kaap; email info@streetwires.co.za or call + 27 (0)21 426 2475.

Photo courtesy Honest Chocolate

Guilt-free treats are the order of the day at Honest Chocolate, a Wale Street "choclatoerie" that sells home made chocolate bars, hand-dipped bon-bons and chocolate spreads.

Photo courtesy Love Monsters & Cuties

Made from raw and organic Ecuadorian cacao that is ethically sourced, Honest Chocolate’s range of hand-crafted yums contains no preservatives, no artificial flavouring, no emulsifiers, no dairy and agave nectar instead of processed sugar. Even the slabs are wrapped sustainably – in pieces of art by Cape Town illustrators.

How do I get my hands on some? Good idea! Visit Honest Chocolate on 66 Wale Street or call the shop on + 27 (0)21 423 8762.

Love monsters&cuties hand makes and sells small soft toys; lovable creatures both "monsterish" and cute for kids. Some look like dolls, others look like birds, others resemble space aliens and robots, or smiling monsters with bug eyes. No matter the shape, all of them are handmade using felts, fabrics, buttons, vintage scraps of embroidery and ribbon. Each beautiful creature is unique – a great gift for good boys and girls. Love monsters&cuties also makes quilts.

How do I get my hands on some? Email lovemonstersandcuties@gmail.com or call + 27 (0)82 219 1008.

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