Going green AND supporting local is now easier than ever! This is thanks to the new export-ready, sustainable homeware and fashion items launched as part of NEXT21, an exhibition of South African design which has just gone live.
Now in its fourth iteration, NEXT is an export development initiative of the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) that has achieved much success in promoting South African design to international buyers. The annual exhibition is also aimed at showcasing the best of local to South African retailers, interior designers, decorators and members of the public.
This year, among the exciting new designs on offer from more than 20 exhibitors from across the country, there are a number of brands that base their production on recycling, upcycling and ingenious use of sustainable materials. The eco highlights of NEXT21 are:
Eco Furniture Design
From its humble beginnings in a garage, Eco Furniture Design has spent the last decade fulfilling its vision of being an environmentally and socially aware company. The brand now has two contemporary furniture stores – one in Durbanville and the other in Woodstock, Cape Town – alongside its factory, where it manufactures the superbly understated, functional furniture for which it is known. New designs launched on NEXT21 include a minimal shelving unit and a sleek bedside chest of drawers.
Ozzy Eco Decor
Ozzy Eco Decor breathes wonder into waste by upcycling used and discarded items. The company was born out of a need to contribute to the environment in a positive manner and aims to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle all waste it collects and offset its carbon footprint whenever possible. For NEXT21, Ozzy Eco Decor has put forward a side table and stool innovatively formed from used car tyres, as well as a mirror housed in an old bicycle wheel. Visit www.ozzydecor.co.za for more.
Masters of giving new life to old paper, WREN innovatively coats, folds and stitches paper into accessories such as laptop sleeves, wallets, tog bags and totes. In late 2020, Wren was one of the first businesses in South Africa to be certified as a B Corp™ company joining a global group that envisages a global economy that uses business as a force good. This means they are required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. The company opts to reclaim paper waste first, recycle second, and buy new certified paper from accredited suppliers as a last resort. For NEXT21, WREN has introduced cheerful neon yellow and coral colours into its collections. See https://www.thewrendesign.com/ for more information.
Sustainable brand Mors Design is an up-cycling initiative that repurposes non-toxic waste into beautiful new bags, book covers, lighting and sculpture. Mors Design believes that reducing the load on our landfills contributes to saving the environment. All Mors Design products, which are made from recycled tyre tubes, are manufactured locally by previously disadvantaged women and refugees, giving them the opportunity to become self-sufficient.
The newly developed products on display as part of NEXT21 include handbags and clutches as well as a new direction that combines swathes of tube with other fabrics to create stylish new totes. Visit https://mors.co.za/.
Unique Driftwood Creations
Cape Town-based sculptor Boniface Chikwenhere carves one-off art pieces from found driftwood. He applies workmanship, tactfulness and skill in order to coax sculptural forms from the wood’s natural appearance. He specialises in African wood that is harvested both from land and from beneath flooded rivers, and makes use of range of wood such as Mopane from Namibia, Common Resin (Tar Berry) from Zimbabwe, Sneezewood and Leadwood from South Africa. As each piece is unique, his work is constantly changing in shape, stature, texture and hue. Explore his output here: https://bonifacechikwenhere.wixsite.com/catalogue.
To view the latest pieces ranges from these five export-ready eco brands visit www.thecdi.org.za/NEXT21Tradeshow, where you can also explore all the other exhibitors on show. Entry is free and no registration is required.