GOOD Clothing is a label that embodies the growing proudly SA fashion movement. Each year more and more South Africans are actively seeking out quality, on-trend fashion produced locally. Producing in small quantities in socially responsible environments, local fashion design is the embodiment of responsible and “slow fashion”. Not only are we supporting the local fashion industry and economy, but it’s better for the environment too.
Marian Park-Ross, who studied Clothing Management, started GOOD Clothing in Cape Town in 2008. She wanted to create a well-designed, locally manufactured, clothing line that embodied a simple, timeless style aesthetic. As Marian says, she wanted to create clothes for women who are stylish but not fashion-slaves. “In a word a woman who quite simply wants to look GOOD.”
Joined by Klarette Strydom in 2015, this team is passionate about playing its part in rebuilding the local fashion industry and creating much-needed jobs in South Africa. While the core GOOD Clothing team is small, Nigel who manages production and logistics brings it to 3, they outsource all their production to local seamstresses and manufacturers.
In pursuit of this passion for loving local, Marian and Klarette spearheaded a campaign known as LOVEZABUYZA. “The campaign aims to highlight the amazing talent we have in SA and to get the South African public excited about local design and manufacturing.” Their LOVEZABUYZA short-film won a Mercedes Benz Bokeh International Fashion Award for Best Sound 2015. Take a moment to check it out here:
Q&A WITH MARIAN & KLARETTE
We took a sliver out of the very busy diaries of the GOOD Clothing team for a quick Q&A session.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
M: I used to play dress-up in my incredibly stylish grandmother’s cupboard. I would walk into their house to visit and head straight for the bedroom and do fashion shows for all the “grownups” in her heels and gorgeous dresses.
What’s your most memorable “fashion icon” moment?
M: I’m not very celebrity-oriented but I did sit behind Isabella Blow at a concert in London.
What’s your favourite part about what you do?
Seeing the collections come to life.
We know it’s a challenge for SA designers to source quality, unique fabrics. Tell us a little more about your fabrics – particularly your interesting and unique prints.
M: My husband is a graphic Designer (Fuel Design is his company) so we (GOOD Clothing) design some of our prints with his help. We also buy other prints and customise them to make them our own. We are loving the exclusivity doing our own prints can now afford us. Also, how the collections are so much more cohesive and pieces can really work together.
What, in your opinion, are the biggest challenges facing the local fashion industry today?
There are just so many.
- Competing with these huge brands who produce mass-produced fast fashion using often unfair (or illegal) labour practices and are so competitive on price!
- Because all the factories have closed (in SA), working in the industry (as a seamstress or patternmaker etc.) is losing its appeal and the workforce is ageing. This is a huge problem for finding skilled workers and also for keeping the industry alive and moving forward.
- There is no locally produced fabric.
What do you think could be done to assist young designers who are trying to build a career/business in SA Fashion?
I feel that local brands should be supported by the government. The government can help to implement tax breaks and removing import duties on fabrics (no fabric is made here anyway so we have to import it), and providing accessible funding to expand & compete with the bigger brands. There are SO many ways they (the government) could help all of us. In addition, it would be great if labour laws also protect employers and not just employees. This would make employers more willing to employ their own workforce, rather than be so hesitant. I could go on forever…
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
Work in finance rather! Jokes!
SHOP GOOD CLOTHING ON EQUILIBRIO
What really caught our eye when we came across GOOD Clothing, was their flare with bold and colourful prints. From crazy red and blue cat prints to this season’s puffins and fans, their creativity with pattern never disappoints. GOOD Clothing effectively uses their unique prints to add a huge dose of fun to their garments. Each season a new, limited edition print is developed that forms the cornerstone of the new collection. Styles in classic solids are then added to bring a mix-and-match element to each collection.
We recency launched GOOD Clothing’s latest collection on Equilibiro.
Summer 2021’s unique prints
Unique prints have fast become a signature of GOOD Clothing collections. This summer features cute puffins and fans in black and red. Wear from heads-to-toe for an on-trend “matching” look.
Easy-to-wear mix and match separates
However, if head-to-toe prints aren’t your thing, GOOD Clothing always adds styles in solid colours so that you can mix and match to create your own individual looks and style. This really is fashion for every woman of every age.
Worthy of a special mention is my favourite GOOD Clothing item, the jumpsuit. Their jumpsuits always fit me perfectly! Each new season’s collection includes a stylish, easy-to-wear jumpsuit. Seriously, if jumpsuits are your thing, you simply MUST try a GOOD Clothing jumpsuit.
Originally published on 11 July 2019 and updated on 10 March 2021.
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