See things differently.
Hello readers! I am back with the final post in my three part series on South African designers. The company featured in this post has an ethical approach to creating fashion, but also experiments with innovative uses of materials. While I saved this company for last, they are certainly not the least favorite among the South African designers I learned about this summer.
While exploring the Watershed artisan market in Cape Town, it was the stylish sunglasses and “Sustainable Gangster” tee that first caught my eye in this store. Ballo creates their handmade eyewear from recycled or upcycled wood, hemp, and African fabric materials.
You may be wondering how wood could be manipulated to make a product comfortable enough to wear as eyewear (I certainly was curious). Well, Ballo created a material they call, Eyewood. It is a combination of wood veneer offcuts, sourced from local furniture producers, bio-resin and recycled paper. The result is durable and stylish eyewear with a comfortable fit.
Ballo started in 2013 with eyewear, but has expanded over the years to offer other unisex goods, which are made locally to support job creation. Here are my favorites from their slow fashion collection.
Ballo makes jewelry as well, like the wood and African print earrings I purchased below. Unfortunately, the wood earrings are not yet available online, but the other items in this post are available for purchase on their website.
I hope you have enjoyed this series on South African fashion and discovered some new designers to add to your wardrobe. It is the end of summer in the states and I’ll be sharing my fall staples, including a few new indie designers with ethical clothing lines.