S E L F I is a ready to wear bespoke clothing brand based in Cape Town, South Africa. Designing with the global modern women in mind ,our brand is carefully centred around, self empowerment, well being and sustainability. With an artisanal design approach, each collection is carefully crafted by a small team of four women working with some of the most ethically sourced fabrics.
St Anne's Homes
St. Anne’s Homes is a non-government organisation based in Woodstock, Cape Town. They offer their services to abused, destitute and pregnant mothers and their young children throughout South Africa.
How we help :
At the end of each season we donate all our mock up garments and samples to the women and young girls. We also donate fabrics to their sewing centre where they are taught to make patterns and sew.
Emmanuel Child & Youth Care Centre
Emmanuel Child & Youth Care Centre (ECYCC) is a registered NPO (non-profit organisation) in South Africa. They provide care and safe refuge for children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned and orphaned. They are based in the town of Middelburg (Eastern Cape, South Africa) and Atlantis , Western Cape.
How we help :
All our waste fabrics are donated annually to the centre where the children repurpose the materials by making fabric dolls, blankets, matts and other items they then sell to create funding for the home.
We are continuously working on choosing fabrics that have a positive impact on our environment. We have therefor limited our selection to a few natural fibres whose production process is known to be a little gentler on our planet, here is our fabric list and their impact on our environment.
In terms of sustainability, Linen requires far less water than cotton and doesn’t require any chemical fertilisers or pesticides. Made from flax , linen has been praised for hundreds of years due to its durability. Linen is 100% biodegradable and does not contain any microfibres. Flax is incredibly easy to grow requiring very little water; As a fabric it’s breathable, durable, lightweight, absorbent, antimicrobial, moth-resistant, and cool (as in it lowers your body temperature in summer, as opposed to cotton).
Ramie is a member of the nettle family and is native to east Asia. As the plant grows incredibly quickly it allows for high production of fabric in a short space of time on small pieces of land. It's not just its rapid growth, however, that makes ramie an easy crop as the plant is naturally resistant to bacteria, fungi, rot and a whole host of other destructive forces. Grown without pesticides and using the natural rainfall, the plant from which ramie is made has relatively little negative environmental impact. Ramie does not contain any microfibres and is 100% biodegradable.
Hemp is known to be the most versatile plant on the planet. Hemp is the only plant that can feed you, clothe you, create a home for you, and provide you with natural beauty products.The hemp plant is actually a weed so it grows efficiently with little water and no pesticides. Additionally, the crops take up little space and produce more pulp per acre than trees. Being a plant derived fabric means it will be biodegradable when disposed and does not contain any microfibres.
Wool is an all-natural, renewable fiber grown on sheep. Wool textile products tend to be washed less at lower temperatures, saving water and lessening environmental impact. It can also be recycled and has a high quality and therefore a longer lifespan than other materials.
Rayon fibers are made by chemically treated wood pulp, so the material is considered semi-synthetic. The sourcing of the material is what determines how sustainable the material is. Locally sourced rayon that has been manufactured from naturally occurring polymers will still be biodegradable, and therefore sustainable. Rayon does not add to microfibre pollution and is 100% biodegradable
Bamboo is the fastest-growing grass. It is capable of growing up to four feet a day. Most of it is grown organically and is a very fast growing crop in most locations requires no irrigation or fertilizers. The bamboo stems self-regenerate from their own roots so its a renewable material. The all-natural product is also biodegradable. Bamboo Usually relies on rain water and does not require any special irrigation system like cotton which requires 20,000 litres of water per kilogram.
Bull denim is a heavy weight, 100% cotton fabric using a twill weave which has a superior strength and hold. Alongside its lasting durability and stiffness, it is a flexible fabric that is soft to touch. Compared to the common denim fabric which is made from dyed warp and weft thread, the bull denim is made with un-dyed warp and weft thread. The down side to denim manufacturing is that its industry uses a lot of water and many denim brands have opted to create eco friendly ranges in their collections.
Although the production of silk is sustainable, some consider it unethical due the killing of the mulberry silkworm during production. Natural and traditional methods are used that don’t involve the use of chemicals. The superior quality means it will last a while and when disposed of, will biodegrade.