Fine Fabrics and #doDifferent

As populations have grown ever larger and ever more demanding, our consumer culture has led to the ubiquity of cheap, mass-made products. This is evident in everything from food to furniture, but it is particularly true for textiles.

The South African textile industry has been devastated by production being concentrated and moved offshore. The result is cheaper and lower quality products for the customer and the loss of a local industry and the jobs it once provided. Added to this are the often poor working conditions and wages for workers in foreign-based factories.

One South African company has decided to go against the grain and #doDifferent by challenging the value proposition of textile products and the social and sustainability practices which have come to define the modern textile industry.

Mungo is a South African based textile company. Their extensive product range includes items from towels and blankets to bed linen and bathrobes. Started in an old barn in 1998, Mungo now employs over 80 people and supplies their woven wares all over the world. All fabric is produced by artisans on antique looms before being cut and sewn by hand into its final form. The result is a beautiful, hand-made product of exceptional quality, designed to be enjoyed and appreciated for many years.

Beyond their commitment to quality, Mungo is committed to doing good. They have a Global Organic Textile Standard certification – the benchmark for sustainable and ethical textile manufacturing. This means that their materials are largely organic and that their labour practices are fair and equitable. They also launched their MOVE programme, where the company directs 1% of their turnover to projects which empower and support people around their Plettenburg Bay home. This includes initiatives addressing gender-based violence, skills development, and recycling.

During the COVID pandemic, where face coverings have emerged as a key component to reducing the transmission of the virus, Mungo have been well placed to produce masks. In keeping with their philosophy, their masks are not only functional but are beautifully constructed. Understanding the importance of masks, Mungo started an initiative where they will donate a mask to someone in need for each mask sold.

Masks will be with us for the foreseeable future it seems, so why not choose to #doDifferent and buy one which is not only excellent quality, but also provides one to someone in need here. Similarly, for any fabric requirements why not support a company who does things ethically and makes a positive contribution to their community. Choices have the power to change unsustainable and unethical practices. That is how we can #doDifferent.

Images by: Mungo