There’s no denying that our behaviour affects the health of both our bodies, and the earth. It’s time to clean up our act for the sake of our wellness, and our planet.
Dubbed “planetary healing”, one of this year’s biggest wellness trends sees individuals and companies collectively realising the impact that our actions have on the earth and on our health. The good news? More and more businesses are creating products with an eco-friendly element, making it easier for us to make the right choice when it comes to food, fashion and skincare.
Wear ethical fashion
Treating clothing as a disposable product has serious environmental implications (fibre production uses considerable amounts of both coal and water), and although “fast fashion” is ever-present, some innovative local brands have adopted an environmentally responsible approach when it comes to manufacturing their pieces.
Fashion and accessories brand The Joinery has focused their attention on finding sustainable solutions to both environmental and community issues through their design and product development. They make a range of products, from laptop bags and tech accessories to luxury slippers and full fashion collections, with fabric created from recycled plastic bottles, as well as hemp and other responsible fabrics. All of their products are made by local artisans and sewing co-operatives in and around informal settlements in Cape Town.
The company is run by sisters Kim and Natalie Ellis, who wanted to start a movement and culture where people really understand the need for sustainable fashion, without feeling like they have to compromise on style and quality.
“Fashion to us is about creating timeless, effortless pieces and just as importantly is about empowering our communities and respecting people and our planet,” says Natalie.
The sisters have spent a lot of time researching, conceptualising and creating bespoke responsible fabrics, and the production of their luxurious felt fabric made from discarded plastic bottles has helped to create numerous jobs for plastic collectors, and at the same time keeps plastic bottles out of landfills. www.thejoinery.co.za
Choose green skincare
The cosmetic industry, sadly, has had a serious impact on the environment. Many major brands continue to test on animals, and while ingredients like microbeads (the tiny plastic particles often added as exfoliants in face and body scrubs) have been banned in several countries around the world for their detrimental effect on marine ecosystems, they continue to be seen in many mainstream products in South Africa.
Local skincare brand SKOON prides itself on trying to be as eco-friendly as possible. The company is a member of Beauty Without Cruelty, which means that none of their products are tested on animals and all of their plastic packaging is BPA-free.
According to brand manager Emma Du Plessis, the idea for SKOON came to her when she read an article years ago that stated that a woman will host, on average, 515 toxic ingredients on her body at any given time because of the way modern cosmetics are formulated.
“It occurred to Stella Ciolli (founder of SKOON) that there are very few alternatives, and if she wanted to make a difference, she had to roll up her sleeves and make something happen,” says Emma. “We do not accept that good, effective skincare needs to contain toxic ingredients procured at great expense to the environment, and at the expense of women’s health and well-being.” www.skoonskin.co.za
If you’re looking for food that is grown locally, and is fresh, organic, and ethically reared, you’ll find a growing number of restaurants in and around Cape Town that are committed to sustainability. Faber Restaurant at Avondale Wine Farm in Paarl boasts a farm-to-table eating experience where all of the produce is sourced either from the farm or from nearby farmers. The menu changes seasonally, so that fresh veggies can be picked straight from the garden, while their eggs and meat are produced in their own fields.
For a list of some of Cape Town’s other sustainable restaurants, have a look at the Longtable Project (www.longtableproject.com), a social enterprise that helps restaurants adopt more sustainable practices in line with global trends.
It’s no secret that landfills generate a considerable amount of greenhouse gas emissions, pollute water supplies, and can cause serious damage to the health of the soil. For this reason, it’s important to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in these sites, both by reducing household waste on a personal level, and by supporting businesses who recycle as much as possible. Zero Waste Hout Bay is an organisation that works to reduce waste that is produced and thrown into landfills. Some of their “zero waste” certified businesses (those that recycle dry waste) include The Lookout Deck, Suikerbossie Restaurant, The Workshop Pub, and Chapman’s Peak Hotel.
Its all about conscious living.