Our dedication to celebrating sustainability in Africa forms an integral part of our vision at What We Cherish. We are fortunate to hold conversations with innovators across an intersection of industries. Our conversation with Esethu Cengu, co-founder and CEO of Rewoven, highlights an often-unsung aspect of the fashion industry. Leading the charge for a sustainable future in South Africa. Re-imaginening textile waste and recycling innovations.
RECYCLING TEXTILE WASTE
In mitigating textile waste, Rewoven’s business model is centered on diverting such waste from landfills and towards an expanded, re-purposed lifespan through recycling textile waste. Tshepo Bhengu, Esethu Cenga and Lonwabo Mgoduso began this journey in 2018, harnessing their collective entrepreneurial mindset towards a vision that merges technology with sustainability, in pursuit of a solutions-based approach to problems in the fashion industry.
“Our shared love for fashion and clothing, as well as sustainability and wellness, found common ground through our research into the conversations about waste in the industry. Through realisation of the waste problem in fashion, we saw a huge opportunity for problem solving that really excited us.” Recounts Esethu in her conversation with our Founder, Melaney. “We wanted to know what was happening in South African landfills, as most of our research led us to US and EU studies, and had already found ourselves in Cape Town which is a huge, historical hub for manufacturers and retailers in the country. We spoke to these spaces, and saw an opportunity to divert waste while creating jobs; as one of our main passions is understanding and actioning how sustainable fashion can contribute to development in Africa.”
A BETTER FUTURE FOR ALL
We are truly motivated by young creatives such as the Rewoven team. Often, the climate and consumption crisis can be incredibly overwhelming. Rewoven is a shining example of how talent and vision can be cultivated towards a better future for all. What seems like an impossible mountain to climb can actually be moulded into a positive, human-centric business model.
For instance, Rewoven specializes in upcycling and repurposing old clothing and fabric scraps to create new, stylish garments. This approach not only reduces waste but also creates unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that stand out from mass-produced clothing.
But Rewoven’s impact extends beyond their products. They also host an annual symposium called “Future of Fashion,” which brings together industry professionals to discuss sustainable practices and innovations in the fashion industry. By creating spaces for dialogue and education, Rewoven is driving progress towards a more sustainable future for fashion.
As the first company of its kind in South Africa, Rewoven is leading the charge for sustainable fashion practices in the country. They’re proving that it’s possible to build a successful fashion business while also prioritizing people and the planet. At Rewoven, they’re driven by a deep sense of determination and a commitment to bringing together the greatest minds and hearts on the continent. By promoting ethical and eco-friendly fashion practices, they’re creating a better future for all.
If you’re looking for stylish, sustainable fashion that’s good for the planet, look no further than Rewoven. Join them in building a better future for all through responsible consumption and sustainable fashion practices.
To see our full interview, click here. Follow Rewoven on Instagram: @rewoven_africa