vendredi 6 décembre 2013

THE JOINERY, made in South Africa!

I discovered The Joinery on a sunny Saturday morning while my first shopping session in Cape Town. I've been immediately attracted by the denim shorts collection and finally been seduced by a soft and delicate animal print blouse. 
I was lucky enough to meet Kim & Natalie ELLIS, two lovely sisters who created their own label with an ethical and organic approach. The kind of creative persons you just wanna know more about them. 
Here is a little conversation about their universe. . . 
© Lyall Coburn
S. - Can you explain the reasons why you decided to launch your own label and when did you start this adventure?

Kim Ellis -  Arriving back home to Cape Town after living in London for a few years was the catalyst for The Joinery’s birth.  We wanted to get involved in strengthening our local community. We uncovered a plethora of extremely talented women who, due to the demise of the South African textile and manufacturing industry, are highly skilled yet unemployed.  We started working with a women’s Fair trade sewing co-operative in the Cape Townships to create our Fair trade fashion garments.
For us ethical and organic go hand in hand prompting us to use hemp and other organic and natural fabrics.  We wanted to start a movement and a culture where people understand the need for sustainable fashion but at the same time make people realise that organic and ethical can also be cutting edge and trendy.
© Lyall Coburn
S. – What is your first memory with fashion?
K .E. - Our first memory where we both noticed the beauty of fashion was a memory of our Mother dressed up for the horse races (The Rothmans July in Durban, South Africa) in a snakeskin ankle length dress cinched in with a plaited leather belt and a tortoise shell clutch to match, killer wedges and 70’s styled blonde hair with a vogue ciggie perched on her lips.

S. - The image that made you want to get into fashion?
K.E. - Images from Katherine Hamnett really inspired us because of our own desire to create ethical fashion. Her images aligned with our strong ideas of ethical fashion and fashion activism being cool, raunchy and sexy at the same time all while sending a message and creating a new movement of producers and consumers who want to buy ethical and organic.

S. - What would be your number one memorable moment since you launch the label? 

K.E. - Being picked as an emerging creative by The department of Arts and Culture for Design Indaba which is South Africa’s annual design show showcasing South Africa’s top creatives, we were able to exhibit at the show and being picked as up coming talent was extremely empowering for us.

S. - What would be the essential piece of your current collection? 

K.E. - Our high-waisted hemp denim shorts for Summer.
© Lyall Coburn

S. - Any obsession at this time? 

K.E. - We are obsessed with braids - braids in our hair, braids on our leather handmade bags…braids on our sandals.

S. - Any other passions than fashion? 

K.E. - Surfing, both of us are big nature lovers and there is nothing better then to wake up on a Sunday morning, strap our surfboards to the roof, grab a Vida-e Coffee and head out to Scarborough for a Sunday surf, this is our bliss.

S. - What to not miss in Cape Town according to you, and why? 

K.E. - Lunch in the Greenhouse at Babylonstoren. You feel like you are caught up in a truly special moment, drinking organic juices squeezed from fruits in the garden and salads picked from their soil, it is an oasis of silence and calm and we often steal ourselves away from the city to have a moment in this magnificence.
© Lyall Coburn
S. - If The Joinery was…
            A music Alt J
A movie - Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless
A food - Rosemary, it smells as beautiful as it tastes
An object - A beautiful powder blue and gold wicker basket which we fill with inspirational things.
A person - Our co-operative keeps us inspired to create every day with their passion for what they are doing.
A place - Weekends away on the untouched, rustic, West Coast, surfing with friends by day, chilling with Diemersfontein Pinotage, good food and board games around a roaring fire.

S. - The Joinery in three words?
K.E. - Organic. Ethical. Indie.

© Lyall Coburn
S. – Where can we find The Joinery?

K.E. - Our online store is coming soon so for now you can email us orders to and see our collection on

And in South Africa
Cape Town
Biscuit Mill, Neighbourgoods Market, in Woodstock every Saturday
Mungo and Jemima on Long Street
Fast and Remarkable in the Salt River Circle in Woodstock
Mr and Mrs on Kloof Street
Ozlo in the Maboneng Precinct