Conscious Being EcoWear was started in December 2016 in the hopes that I could bring awareness to some of the injustices in the world.
It started off with an idea to brand some clothing with vegan slogans to highlight the plight of the animals in this world. However, when I began to look for fabric it opened up an entire new world of injustice. There was no way I could use fabric or garments made in sweat shops, from fabrics that came from crops that were destroying the environment, to highlight injustice to animals while I was supporting injustice to people and our planet.
So what started off as a vegan mission became a brand whose purpose is to remind us to be Conscious Beings.
To be aware of what we eat, what we wear, and what we support, and realise that our choices have consequences which can either be positive or negative.
I spent months researching fabrics and looking into companies backgrounds to ensure ethical practices. We use a blend of hemp and organic cotton for our hoodies and fitted long tops. Although we try to support local as much as possible, the hemp fabric is imported, by an ethical company in Cape Town (at the time they were still fighting the law to enable them to grow the hemp locally). It is dyed in South Africa, but we chose to keep our hoodies and white fitted tops in their undyed state for purity. Our hoodies have a metal zip down the front and hemp cord through the hood.
Our tees (long sleeve tees, t-shirts and muscle tees) are all made from 100% cotton, but not your average water intense, pesticide drenched cotton. This cotton comes from crops farmed by smallholder farmers in Africa who are part of the Cotton Made in Africa organisation. This organisation teaches these farmers to grow their cotton seasonly using only rainwater, to rotate cotton crops with food crops which feeds the community and keeps the soil healthy, which in turn reduces the need for pesticides and herbicides.
They believe in equal opportunity and are against any form of child labour. The fabric is then manufactured in South Africa and dyed using a closed or semi-closed loop system which reduces water pollution.
Our garments are made locally and digitally printed with our original designs. The fitted hemp tops are screen printed by hand using water-based ink and a gelatine-free template so completely vegan-friendly.
We even went as far as to avoid unnecessary extras like nylon garment labels which tend to eventually fall apart and end up in our water when washing. So our hemp clothing have their wash care instructions on the brand tag which is attached to the garment with hemp twine and the cotton items have their care instructions printed directly onto the back of the garment.
Our logos and print designs all represent the need to be Conscious Beings.