I am blessed to live in country of vast, unique landscapes and ecosystems full of incredible vegetation and animals - South Africa is truly a home I strive to protect, as we should with all of the earth. Realizing that we need to change and return to balance and harmony leads us down a path - one that is characterized by awakening and simplicity; one that is an endless journey of figuring out our celestial home in the universe.
There is a collective bubbling of innovative ideas and problem solving happening all around the planet. Our biggest existential questions such as extinction are inspiring total shifts of living and being - whether these are through ancient or new practices.
I believe it all starts with connection. Through building communities and engaging with our everyday living habits, we become present in everything we experience with our senses: from our food, to our clothes, to transport, to community and extending to wellbeing and self-care.
Connection is the central focus of sustainability in South Africa; people all over the country are creating dynamic systems and tools, that can potentially impact life positively, despite divisive socio-economic disparities, as well as a violent and unjust history. Despite this, we are a nation of people determined to move forward, together.
If you ever travel to the tip of Africa, here is how you can contribute to ethical changes happening in Cape Town, South Africa.
Along the Sea Point coast line is Sans Community - a lifestyle space offering a vast array of beautiful products for conscious living. In their store you will find an abundance of organic, seasonal produce and natural medicines, as well as phyto-nutrient rich Aesop Skincare, all tied together by an intricately curated selection of décor, linens, books and more. The central mission of Sans Community is intentional, thoughtful living – aligned with shared community values and harmony with nature.
This collective offers seasonal wild-food workshops that teach the ritual of foraging and living according to the land of the Western Cape, from fynbos in the Cape Floral Kingdom, to mushroom foraging in the forests. There can be no better way of learning about the richness of personal and planetary nourishment than going back to the source.
Clarke’s is a cool, clean oasis on Bree Street – offering fresh wholefood dishes, delicate cordials and cocktails, oysters and more. Listen out for the lovely playlists, and the produce to take home too – from house made labneh, to sourdoughs. This is the perfect community space for connecting in the Mother City.
If you are staying in the city, drop into the Shala for an array of yoga classes – especially as stretching and staying in flow are so important while travelling. This inner-city sanctuary is intimate and safe with dedicated teachers and students alike. I find yoga is the ultimate support for the body and mind; and cultivating awareness is crucial for the sustainability path.
The Old Biscuit Mill in industrial Salt River hosts the Neighbourgoods Market every Saturday from 9am to 4pm. Compromised of insanely delicious foods, décor, bespoke jewellery and clothing – this market is where some notable designers started selling their first collections – from Alexandra Hojer to Art Club & Friends. Breakfast is served with Espresso Lab coffees or mimosas – and cocktails and music create a vibrant hub in the late afternoon sun.
AKJP studio houses the work of 27 South African designers – showcasing a selection of garments, jewellery, accessories and once-off artworks. For any design lover this store is a must; look out for Thalia Strates’ bespoke bags, Githan Coopoo’s ceramic earrings or a David Ndungu sculpture using recycled flip flops. Buying from local creatives is an amazing way to support ethical and original production.
South Africa has a burgeoning gin culture – and many of these innovative craft distilleries draw on the vast botanical heritage of the landscape for flavour and inspiration. This tucked away courtyard lends itself to one of the cities best kept secrets – a hidden gem offering a flavourful menu of floral rich gin cocktails. This is just the right way to cool off before dinner after a day on the beach, while engaging the senses with the herbal varieties of the Cape.
Visiting Cape Town is the best opportunity to return to nature – hike the infamous Lion’s Head for the ultimate view of the city, or swim off the rocks at Bakoven beach –just one of the many beaches to visit along the coastline - or visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for a picnic in paradise.
Playing in nature reminds us what we seek to protect through the sustainability journey; all the wonders of our Earthly home.
+ Words: Holly Beaton
Holly Bell Beaton is a writer and stylist with a passion for the intersection between biology, technology and design. Raised in Cape Town and of Swedish heritage, her travels across the world have encouraged and informed a global perspective regarding the future of fashion and its relationship to planetary health. She is currently working for a sustainable fashion label in Cape Town, South Africa.
Follow her on Instagram: @Holly Beaton