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Discover South African brands with The Local Edit App

by | Mar 28, 2022

To embrace the ethos of slow fashion, we need to choose community over convenience. And, if we want to grow the slow fashion community, we need to find ways to make it accessible to different kinds of people with different lifestyles. As urbanistas we’ve become used to the convenience of a local shopping centre, and to having easy access to a wide variety of products. Despite this convenience, I’ve often heard the refrain that “supporting local is not easy”.

A new South African app is here to help us with exactly that – making it easier than ever to support local, slow fashion.

Established by Christine Meintjes and Berdine Swart, The Local Edit is an app (available on Apple and Android) that allows users to discover and shop across some of the best South African designer brands, all in one cart.

They currently stock over 12 000 items, from 130 local brands, including a variety of clothing, jewellery, accessories, kids items, furniture, smaller homeware goods, items for pets, skincare, and wellness products. “We’re all about authenticity, so firstly it needs to be products that we as a team feel naturally drawn towards. Then the brand has to be locally grown with a close connection to their production line,” says Christine.

Its origin story begins with The Pretty Blog. Christine Meintjes began The Pretty Blog in 2010 as a platform to share wedding and lifestyle content. “Through building strong relationships with people in the industry we also naturally started showcasing incredible products that we loved. More and more people started asking us where they could find local handbags, jewellery, and lifestyle products,” says Christine.

After lengthy conversations about how they could create an offering that would allow people to discover and invest in the local designers they were looking for, The Local Edit emerged as an e-commerce solution.

To parallel the experience of walking down an aisle in a big retailer, lined with similar types of products that you can compare and contrast, The Local Edit team included this in their conceptualisation so that the app allows you to discover products across brands. “As a supporter of local, I wanted to personally see multiple brands in one location. It was important for me to see variety, but also learn more about the brand’s story and possibly discover similar brands that I haven’t seen before. I also wanted to be able to save products for later purchase and be able to shop it all in one cart, without having to visit multiple online stores,” says Christine.

As an e-commerce platform that provides a stage for a large variety of local brands, making sure their business operations were low-impact took a lot of reflection and careful coordination. “We don’t warehouse, or repackage, each brand order is independently packaged and shipped by each designer, making it as sustainable as possible,” says Christine.

When it comes to sustainability, influencing systems change is not just about changing the way we shop, but also about education reimagining ourselves as more than just consumers. The Local Edit has kept this in mind too. “Not only do we showcase products, but we also have two sections on the app dedicated to storytelling. The first is the brand’s story, which is told under each brand’s section. The second is our internal editorials where we have educational and inspirational pieces,” says Christine.

Investing in local businesses and supporting local makers and creators should be something we all try and incorporate into our lifestyles if we have the financial privileges to do so. Creating thriving local economies that produce with care is the key to a decentralised and more equitable way of doing business.

Luckily, our country is home to so many talented fashion changemakers and brands that are pioneering a different way of doing things – a way that is slower, more considered, and locally produced.

The Local Edit aims to educate consumers about local talent, by telling their stories and showcasing their designer goods through their app.  They connect local creators to discerning consumers who are willing to make more conscious consumer decisions. The Local Edit is led by care, consideration and creativity, and conscious community.

 

  • Cover image sourced from The Local Edit’s website.
  • The images included are behind-the-scenes images from The Local Edits’ newly released ‘Discover Local’ video series. From top to bottom: The Real Crystal Birch, Pedersen + Lennard, and Hannah Lavery. Photographer: Daniella Zondag.
  • To learn more about The Local Edit, take a look at their website. The Local Edit also has a podcast (Behind The Edit) sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the brand partners.
  • To download the app, click here.
  • This is not a sponsored post. We are just passionate about making supporting local as accessible as possible and sharing those options with you!
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