Eco-friendly design from South Africa

To be quite frank with you, I don’t’ stumble across many designers from sub-sahara Africa. Maybe its because, unlike in Europe or the US, design is not really a blossoming area of business here – yet, that is. Several African countries are renowned for their colourful dresses, textiles, pottery, masks, hairstyles, and I could go on. But today, design is branched into so many areas of business, creative industries, health care, humanitarian work etc., that you can’t really classify it in a traditional sense anymore, and that still more designers turn away from traditional ways of design. I bet there are more people here in Africa working with design-solutions to some of the greater humanitarian and development challenges Africa faces, than designers working with design in a traditional regard. The buzz-words of the last decades seems to have been sustainability and innovation.

But of course, handi-craft and sustainability goes hand in hand today. And you find a lovely pair of those two in South African designer Ronél Jordaan’s Textiles. Working with a traditional felt material (100% cotton) Jordaan and her team creates beautiful interior-textiles. In both the products and materials you will notice an inspiration by and cooperation with nature. Cushions and carpets formed by shapes of stones and bird-nests for plants.



Since her business started to grow, Jordaan took unemployed women in and trained them as professional felters, and now has a team of 40 previously un-employed women in her staff. On top of that she of-course takes all possible consideration for nature and the animals producing the wool in the production, using only eco-friendly materials and dyes, and of course recycling pretty much everything. The waste water from the dye, for an instance, is used to water fields of vegetables, that are given to the women employed…

So what is not to like? I know I wouldn’t mind having a couple of Jordaan’s rock-things in my home…

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