We all know the importance of doing our bit and supporting green and good. More and more people are realising the value of our buying power, and the impact we can have just by choosing specific things. But it can actually be rather difficult to know who to support! Small sustainable brands seldom have the budget to advertise the way giant corporations do. They’re not even guaranteed to have a physical store!
But wonderfully, we live in an age where you don’t need to put the money into all of that in order to succeed. Rather, you can start small, pay all employees fair wages, and carefully choose ethically produced and natural materials. And that’s what the brands on this list have done.
Disclaimer: None of these brands are affiliates, and I won’t at any point accept money to include anything on this list – but I will be super happy to add great brands I didn’t know about, so leave me a comment if I’ve missed any!
Organic produce delivery
If you’re looking to kick the habit of single-use plastic, and of all the chemicals put in most foods these days, there’s no better way than to order a weekly bag of produce with one of these businesses. In addition to seasonal veggies, fruit and herbs, you can find local cheeses, breads, and even haircare and skincare.
Wild Organics offers three different produce bags – the standard, the mini, and the make-your-own. In addition to your fruits and veggies, you can find plastic-free alternatives here, like a bamboo toothbrush, beeswax clingfilm, and a coconut fibre pot scrubber! You can even find organic wine and chocolate.
This natural grocer has the most collection points of any of them, making it super easy to get your order with minimal travel. If you prefer home delivery, a straight fee of R75 is added to your order.
One of my favourite natural grocers, Think Organic offers weekly boxes and veg bags, as well as a large selection of organic products. They even sell mushroom grow kits and organic seeds for those who want to grow their own food!
The Think Organic website isn’t quite as intuitive and easy as you’d want it to be, but it’s still easily navigable, so that you can find what you want and place your order quite quickly. They have eight collection points in and around Cape Town, or you can have your order delivered to your door for R55 (or free for orders over R650).
Another lovely produce delivery service is Nomaste. They deliver every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The delivery fee ranges from R40 to R65 depending on where you are – but pensioners get their deliveries free!
Namaste has the classic seasonal veggie box from their local farmer network. But you can also find Deluxe coffee, dairy-free products, and a range of baked goods on their site.
Cape Food Farm
For those living a little outside Cape Town, Cape Food Farm is a boon. They deliver nutritious food straight from their pesticide-free, spring-fed farm to Hermanus, Kleinmond, Stanford, Baardskeerdersbos, Gansbaai, Franskraal, Pearly Beach, Napier, Bredasdorp, Struisbaai and L’Agulhas.
You can choose the Gardener’s Wife box, a weekly selection of fresh produce, or you can pick your own veggies. They also offer farm honey, granola, rusks, and even a fynbos bouquet if you want to treat yourself or your love!
Sustainable clothing brands
It’s becoming increasingly important to slow down our shopping habits and support slow fashion. Not only are sustainable fashion brands so much better for our environment, because organic natural fabrics avoid microplastics and pesticides. They’re also much better for the people making them, as the focus is on fair wages and good working conditions.
The price tags tend to be higher on these items. But that just makes sense. We’re changing the world into what we want it to be, and paying more for quality, but buying fewer clothes, is part of that process.
Akina is a favourite of mine – although they are slow to update their site. Akina’s main focus is swimsuits, with a lovely though small collection. I bought mine from them over a year ago, and it’s served me so well.
This label sources as much of their fabric as possible locally, and all cutting and sewing is done here in Cape Town to ensure fair labour. The fabrics are all organic or recycled, and they upcycle or recycle most of their factory waste. It’s just fantastic seeing so much thought put into each step in the process!
Me in my favourite dress – a simple black linen shift from Gray Dawn
Gray Dawn is another Cape Town-based brand trying to do better. They have a lovely selection of tops, pants, dresses and knitwear, and like the others, they cater mostly to women. Their pieces are made from Tencel, linen and cotton, but not all are sustainably sourced. Still, they’re a small-batch, locally made brand with a focus on slow fashion. And I absolutely love my linen dress from this little brand!
Live & Light
With hand-made pieces and a limited number of each design, the clothing from Liv & Light feels really special. While they too source sustainable fabrics sometimes, their main focus is on producing high-quality small-batch pieces and paying good wages. So, while it doesn’t tick all the boxes, they’re still better to support than most alternatives.
My delicate bralette from Nette Rose
If you’re ever looking for beautiful, delicate and carefully made intimates, Nette Rose is a great favourite. Based in Cape Town, everything is done in their studio. They focus strongly on happy employees, sustainable fabric, and offsetting carbon emissions. To this end, a tree is planted for every bralette sold! That means that your purchase will be totally carbon neutral – how cool is that!
While there are only a few truly sustainable Cape Town clothing brands, you’ll find a lot more who are focusing on small-batch slow fashion, ethical trading, and good working conditions. And these brands are great to support!
Our favourite slow-fashion brands are:
- Elio Clothing – women’s clothing in lovely natural fabrics
- Pintuck Resort – swimwear with patterns and cuts you can pick and choose from
- Chasing Bees – kikois and swim shorts, mostly for men, with a focus on local sourcing and saving the bees
- Earthling & Moon – women’s clothing brand with local sourcing and production
- Zimele Eco Wear – local women-run company with hemp undies for men and women
Next on the list is great restaurants to support! These restaurants focus on organic, healthy food that’s good for you and good for the earth. They also support better practice when it comes to employee conditions, food waste and single-use plastics.
It’s easy to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town – the city is really innovative and fresh in our food culture. But it’s a lot harder to find restaurants who are specifically organic.
My pesto sweet potato gnocchi lunch at Scheckter’s – delicious!
At Scheckter’s Raw the goal is to serve innovative, healthy, tasty food, and they do just that! It’s simply better for you and for the environment, and it tastes darn good. One of their best offerings is their very innovative and tasty drinks – juices, smoothies, and hot drinks – making good use of spices and dates.
Babylonstoren is famous in Cape Town for its massive beautiful gardens and its pretty high-end restaurants. It’s a large farm  out of Cape Town, where you can enjoy food that’s been grown right here in the organic, botanically diverse and permaculture-led gardens. It’s pretty much the dream of farm to table.
Based in Observatory and on Kloof street, Nourish’d is a plant-based cafe with a focus on zero waste. Not only do they make delicious smoothies, juices, and meals; they also ensure that their produce is almost entirely locally sourced, plastic-free, and recycled afterwards.
And other conscious brands
Of course, there are many more areas of life that can be made more eco-conscious and human-friendly!
Nudefoods – plastic-free grocery
This plastic-free grocery is a fantastic place to get all of your dry goods, spreads, etc. You can just bring your jars – or buy jars here – and fill up with GMO-free ingredients. And finally ditch all the plastic that comes with absolutely everything!
From pastas to kimchi and kombucha, Nudefoods has a really broad range of products to keep you out of the supermarkets.
Skoon – skincare brand
Skincare can be sustainable too! Skoon, with a farm and lab near Cape Town, focuses on rich, healthy ingredients harvested right here in the Cape Floral Kingdom. By providing reliable income for farmers, ensuring no animal testing is done, and offering non-toxic, clinically-proven products for a range of skin types and conditions, Skoon is definitely one to support.
Leaf & Stone – permaculture gardening and eco-homes
If you’re a Capetonian looking to deep dive into sustainable, organic living, this is a much more intense, but fantastically valuable service! Leaf & Stone offers whole systems design solutions catered to your specific space, budget and requirements.
You can have a food garden created on your land, or have your entire house and garden eco-renovated and redesigned to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, including water, waste, and energy solutions.
If everyone had food gardens instead of land-degrading grass patches, we’d be a whole lot better off! So, for those who don’t have the knowledge or the time to create their own, Andrew’s Leaf & Stone is an exciting option.
Dear Rae – handcrafted jewellery
Our beloved engagement and wedding rings from Dear Rae
Dear Rae is a lovely little Cape Town jeweller with a drive for sustainable practices. They ensure conflict-free stones and locally mined metals. They recycle and refine all of their dust and offcuts, and even encourage clients to bring in old jewellery to be melted down and reused, lowering the price for the client and the waste involved. Dear Rae also donates 5% of profits to a few local initiatives!
Inyoni is a really interesting collection of textile artworks that are uniquely Capetonian. Kristen Mcclarty, the artist, uses endemic plant species to print their colours and textures onto linen and hemp fabric. The process uses no chemicals or dyes, just the natural colours of our fynbos. Fascinating!
Last thoughts on Cape Town’s sustainable brands
There you have it, all the sustainable, organic, empowering and conscious brands in Cape Town that I know! By supporting these small companies, you’re not only helping entrepreneurship in a struggling economy. You’re also using your buying power to support better practices.
Of course, there must be brands missing from this list. Please let me know about any sustainable brands that I should be checking out and adding, so that we can all continue to support local and green!