I first heard about Conscious Being EcoWear from a friend who hosts Collective Womb women’s yoga sessions each week on a Thursday evening. I mentioned The Planet Perspective and that I thought that listing Collective Womb in our Resources section would be a good fit.
We continued to chat about other eco-conscious businesses in Port Elizabeth, and Simone mentioned Conscious Being EcoWear and gave me Candice’s details. I immediately sent Candice an email to chat to her, visited her social media pages and fell in love with the brand and her message.
So I’m thrilled to share more about Candice’s mission here.
Q: What was your motivation to start this business?
A: Quite simply – to change the world.
I originally wanted to make basic tees and hoodies for people to use as walking billboards to bring awareness to veganism. But when I started to research my options it led me to the dark side of the clothing industry. Fast fashion. Cheap tees. Slave labour. Environmental destruction.
I realised that I could not fight the exploitation and cruelty of animals by contributing to the exploitation of human beings and the destruction of the environment by the fashion industry. If I was going to change the world, I needed to be the change I wanted to see. So, I took a step back to see the bigger picture. It’s not about being vegan, it’s about being aware. It’s about everyday choices that we make and how these choices matter to life around us. It’s about living consciously. That’s why it’s Conscious Being.
Q: How do you go about sourcing your raw materials so that they’re as sustainable as possible?
A: There is not a lot available in South Africa, but I was able to find a couple of companies who supply sustainable fabrics that are ethical. My materials must follow these guidelines
- Vegan – no animal products or animal testing
- Ethical – everyone involved, from the farmers to the fabric manufacturers and suppliers, must get a living wage
- Natural – as close to nature as possible, with little or no harm to the environment
- Local – supporting local as far as possible
I meet with suppliers in person when possible and I get all the necessary certification and confirmation from them before I start anything new.
Q: How have you designed your production process to create as little environmental impact as possible?
A: All the companies I choose to work with, from the suppliers to the manufacturers and dye houses, need to have the same values we have at Conscious Being EcoWear. I ensure that I have a close relationship with the companies involved in my production process so there is always a good amount of transparency and understanding. I minimise waste by producing small quantities and even keep as much of the off cuts as possible to find another use for them somewhere else. All our packaging is plastic-free.
Q: What motivates you to keep going?
A: My favourite quote is by Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” If I can bring awareness to people about the exploitation of animals, humans, and our planet through this clothing line, and those people then choose to do better, that is what keeps me going.
Q: What has running your business taught you?
A: A consumer has a great deal of power, much more than they are aware. We need to think about what our money supports before we spend it. If something is sold at a bargain, ask yourself who is paying the price so that you don’t have to pay it. As consumers we need to take more responsibility for what goes on in the world because at the end of the day it’s us who create the demand for cheap food and cheap clothing, and our people, our animals, and our planet are suffering for it.
Q: What would you like to communicate to the wider community through your business?
A: Your choices matter. We all want a better world for everyone. You have the power to make that happen through the choices you make.
Hi, we are Eon & Melissa
We are a husband-and-wife team who are parents to a beautiful dachshund called Milo.
We are on a journey towards consciously choosing better options for the products we bring into our home and use in our daily lives.
We are sharing what we learn on this website and blog.
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