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Step out of the Mass!

-COMFORTZONE-

In the past couple of years, the online shopping phenomenon, has increased the ease, comfort and service to such a level that this industry turned us consumers into easy and tame birds.

Consumption nowadays lies literally at the tip of our fingers. In no time at all we order something online and we have grown accustomed to have the parcel being delivered the next day. But are we really aware what the impact of this change brings about, if you know that for instance a returned sweater is thrown away, simply because it is easier and cheaper than to re-use the item?

We are all concerned about radical themes such as climate change and the labour market, yet we seem to forget in which comfortzone we have landed. A comfortzone which was perhaps consciously created with the purpose of making us dependant.

But do we sometimes think about the whole picture? That the products we order are mass produced in countries such as China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh and where the principles that we as consumers think are of paramount importance are very often violated. Countries where workers are a number and have no face, and lead a completely hopeless life. Lives that we have no knowledge of and will never have. Our purchases will not improve the lives of those workers, much rather let their situation take its course. Mass consumption dictates mass production and here only one principle is key: price – always pushing the price, always wringing the producer and thus leaving no ground for any kind of development or improvement of the working conditions of the workers, let alone the impact on the climate.

-EXOCHIQUE-

We see this story differently with exochique. We have come to admire a new generation of entrepreneurs who act with a very social commitment. More specifically in South Africa and in particular in the Cape, we have discovered a vibrant dynamism that may be typical of a country and a society that has experienced a recent major social turn. From an isolated Apartheid regime, to a Rainbow nation, rediscovering itself both economically and socially. And such a transition takes time, and happens with trial and error. A new generation of entrepreneurs is pressing who, in their own way, are building a new future for their country and the well-being and development of their workers and employees is at the heart of their actions, rather than in words.

With exochique we aim at creating a platform for these entrepreneurs and their companies to present their products to you. And thus, to offer you honest and authentic products with a story, and behind which lies the smile of a proud company and its employees.

Via a monthly promotion that we present in the form of a “magazine cover”, we focus on a specific entrepreneur and the products they present. Our customers are given the opportunity to place their order during the period of the promo, which are then processed as a sort of ‘drop order’, after which the customer receives the order some 4 weeks later. In this way only what is ordered is produced and we are not left with unnecessary unsold stocks that benefit neither our suppliers nor ourselves, taking also into consideration the sustainability of the product. We prefer to pay a fair price for our products, instead of working with an aggressive model, so that our suppliers can also pay their staff a fair wage.

-YOUR VOICE-

As a consumer, as a person, we often think that our vote or opinion is ignored during elections.

But don’t we forget that we can assert our opinion in other ways than just voting? And then I don’t speak of protest, grimness or violence. We often forget that we can also assert and determine our “voice” in everyday life, starting with our own buying behavior. We may, perhaps we should, regard our buying behavior as a 365-day-of-the-year democracy. Do we consider what we are buying? Where it is made? Which powerful industrial family we indirectly enrich? What influence do they have in the media and politics to push through their agenda? An agenda that possibly impacts your future. It doesn’t even have to be a purchase of € 500 or € 10,000, it starts with the purchase of a snack, a T-shirt, an interior item.

Let us think more about who or which company is behind the product, what their principles are. And perhaps let us be lured less by the comfort, the treats that the multinationals serve us. You are the consumer, you decide what your money is spent on. If we may not be able to put our vote on what happens to our tax money, well then we can perhaps start by determining where our remaining net wages is spent on. As a voter we have a responsibility in the voting booth, but as a consumer we have an equally large, perhaps even more direct responsibility with our money, credit card or bank account.

Take your chance, make your voice heard today, tomorrow, next week – and not just every 4 years in the voting booth. Buy more consciously, do not let the masses determine your choice and support entrepreneurs with a heart in the right place.

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Ostrich leather folders

COLLECTIONS

A new and exiting collection to arrive with us next week is IkhayaElite by Le Roux‘s Business Folder in an exclusive ostrich leather version with suede interior finish. This folder can store all you need at hand for your daily business meetings, or to have all your documents when travelling.

The Business Folders are both Women‘s as Men‘s accessories and are available in following colours, that can nicely match your other ostrich leather accessories:

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Cape Town’s Silo District

CULTURE, DINING

The Incidental Tourist’s Dawn Jorgensen came up with “The Ultimate Guide to Eating your way around Cape Town’s Silo District”. No doubt, these addresses in the trendy Silo District and at the V&A Waterfront should be on your agenda on your next trip to Cape Town. As Dawn writes, “the area rose to prominence with the opening of the ZeitzMOCAA late last year”. The ZeitzMOCAA museum features the most representative collections of contemporary art from the African continent and its diaspora. The museum is a partnership between German philantropist and ex-Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and is located in the historic grain silo in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.

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Fynbos Pop-Up Hotel

TRAVEL

If this does not sound tempting to you … then I don’t know what does … 😉

This new Cape Town Fynbos pop-up hotel, situated on Buitengracht Street, overlooking the City Bowl, is a joint-venture between the Cape Town Fynbos Experience and Coco-Mat Cape Town. The hotel offers just 1 room for two people sharing. A night’s booking begins with a one-hour Fynbos Tasting which starts at 2pm in the historic Company’s Garden prior to check-in.

This one-roomed pop-up ‘hotel’ offers botanical immersion in the Cape’s unique vegetation, awaking the mixologist in one as each fascinating Fynbos experience unfolds. To say nothing of the unique bathing process, we’ll save the surprises, given the water shortage in Cape Town.

And the experience doesn’t end there, you can be assured of a comfy night’s sleep. The multi-layered bed is hand crafted and made with 100% natural materials. A sense of weightlessness is achieved using a base of Eucalyptus slats, while layers of coconut fibre regulate humidity and seaweed aids breathing through the slow release of iodine.. Body-contouring natural rubber, goose down and organic linen complete the perfect sleep.

Make sure to be quick … the pop-up hotel is only open until End August 2018.

Practical:

Coco-Mat 15 Orange Street, Cape Town Tel. 021-422-1122   www.coco-mat.com

Cape Town Fynbos Experience Visitors Centre, Company’s Garden, 19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town Tel. 066-2255722

info@capetownfynbosexperience.com     www.capetownfynbosexperience.com

BOOKINGS www.facebook.com/capetownfynboshotel

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Going to Cape Town this June?

TRAVEL

Whilst Europe is turning to the summer, South Africa is heading for Autumn … and the recent rains have done well for Cape Town. If your heading for the Cape this June, here are some highlights of what you could plan… From the new Alice in Wonderland musical, into the Darling Winter Beer Festival … or why not go and watch the Springbok’s rugby game against England.

If you’re still looking for a fashionable and handy travel bag to carry as hand luggage on your forthcoming trip, you might just find what your looking for here… Have a look at our travel bags from IkhayaElite by Le Roux

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Ostrich leather pens

COLLECTIONS

Whether this is the first ostrich leather item you buy, or whether you wish to complete your ostrich leather accessories, this Klein Karoo pen collection will definitely seduce you… It’s also an original present idea for her/him, young/old. Here are our first colours available

Please do make sure to check for updates, there are plenty of more colours to come!

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Hearts Keyrings

COLLECTIONS

Hearts are not just something for Valentine’s Day… That’s why the Klein Karoo ostrich leather Heart Keyring is the ideal fashion accessory to remember!

Check here for the available colours that we currently have on offer … if you don’t find your favourite colour, be sure to check again shortly as there will be more colours coming in.

 

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Rarity handbags

COLLECTIONS

Our motto is “Live the South African lifestyle. Diverse, exotic, chic, unique.” And this is where Jaqueline Burge’s Rarity Handbags, with their unique range of products, perfectly fits in. This Woodstock, Cape Town, handbag manufacturer started on the turn of the century, with a local South African farmer looking for a way of creating something special out of skins that they would normally dispose of. Out of this idea of addressing “waste” and adding value, came Rarity’s signature range of springbok handbags. From springbok it went on to ostrich shin leather, whom many saw as another lower product, compared to the much sought after quilted ostrich skins; and later to using the ostrich feathers for handbags, which again was a refreshing approach in stead of using the smaller feathers for clothing purposes.

Rarity is the story of hand-made products, the unusual mixing of using natural materials, artisan training to create sustainable employment. It is about respect for the natural resources, and for artisanship and the people making the unique handbags.

This is why we are so proud to offer you Rarity’s handbags collection, because we want to share their story with you.