Sustainable, yet chic safari style

Sustainable safari fashion

By Renate Engelbrecht

Tuesday, Mar 28

Shopping sustainably has become a hot topic of discussion and a preference to many a shopper, although it’s not necessarily that easy. Still, many are leaning toward sustainable fashion, with a safari being the one thing that might just convince them to convert.

According to a recent study by global consumer insights agency, Insites Consulting, 92% of South Africans say sustainability is important to them. At the same time, only 58% claim to live sustainably. It’s become clear that South Africans are keen on living more sustainably and making a lifestyle change, but that they don’t know where to start. For me, the information around sustainable fashion choices only recently started to become more accessible, with more and more fashion brands realizing the importance of creating awareness.

CURBON’s co-founder and director, Steffen Burrows says this is exactly where online retailers and e-commerce merchants come in. He suggests that it’s their responsibility to help close the gap between the acknowledgement of sustainable living and actually taking action to live more sustainably. It’s a sustainability paradox that should be treated as an opportunity by brands, since 86% of consumers believe that companies have a duty to take care of the planet. Hence, merchants and e-commerce businesses can help consumers to overcome barriers when it comes to adopting a more sustainable lifestyle and sustainable habits in their daily lives.

Some fashion brands have already taken on this responsibility, creating awareness and offering consumers more sustainable fashion options. And, as many of us might have noticed, it’s often while we’re on safari that the brand messages about the importance of living more sustainably truly take shape.

Sustainable safari style

I spoke to Carli Heystek from StyleCraft, a personal styling and shopping service in Cape Town and she assisted me in putting together some style tips for shoppers looking for chic sustainable safari styles:

Choose wisely

Since safaris are mainly in areas known for their hot weather and high humidity, safari outfits work best when they are comfortable and lightweight. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring, though. In fact, safari outfits can be quite elegant and fashionable if you choose the right style for your body, budget and personal preference.

Turn to these textiles

In terms of textiles, Carli suggests that you opt for hydrophilic fabrics. It should attract moisture, evidently keeping moisture away from the body, keeping you cool. These include natural fabrics like cotton, linen, hemp, viscose, rayon or a blend of these with polyester.

Dress with belt for safari

Colour code your safari style

Sustainable clothes’ colours often compliment safaris, since it usually leans toward natural tones. This is mainly because the textiles and production processes are more earth conscious. For instance, they prefer hand-dyeing with natural dyes as opposed to chemical dyes, as the impact on water pollution is far less. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Some brands manage to create wonderfully vibrant pieces with natural dyes. Still, for the most part, sustainable clothing tends to be more neutral in colour. Opt for neutral, earthy tones with an animal print here and there and you’ll certainly look the part.

Sustainable style

Clever safari styles

Considering the activities we enjoy while on safari, the most appropriate styles include playsuits, jumpsuits, dresses, shorts and T-shirts, swimwear and for some, active wear.

Shoes for safari

Of course, it’s not a safari without vellies. These genuine leather shoes only become softer and more comfortable over the years, as long as you take proper care of it. Vellies also champion the sustainable practice of buying once and wearing it for a very long time.

Accessorise your safari

Accessories often help to finish off a look perfectly, or to visually elevate an outfit to transform it from day wear to evening wear. Styling your safari outfit brings versatility and allows you to wear a single outfit in more than one way. The key is to not overdo your accessories and Heystek says keeping to three, four or five accessories will help you avoid over or under accessorising.

Safari style fashion

In the end, a safari is about relaxing and enjoying being in nature. Feeling comfortable in your outfit can only help you to submerge yourself in what nature has to offer.

Images: Estilo Creative

Outfits: Milk & Honey; Poetry Stores; Bloo The Studio

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