KELP by Ray is a Cape Town-based sustainable fashion brand that sells a range of high-quality cotton rope bags. Each bag is individually handcrafted by local artisans in the Mother City from locally sourced materials. Their versatile bags are made for beach days, holidays, work and anything in-between.
We caught up with founder, Samantha Rayment, to learn more.
What inspired the name?
The inspiration for the name stems from my love for the beach and everything that is related to it.
Your bags come in different shapes and sizes. What inspires your designs?
Stylish yet practical is at the core of every design.
The brand aims to showcase the work of local artisans. Why is this so important at KELP by Ray?
I have always loved fashion and accessories and dreamt of running my own business, initially selling hats a few years ago. Our country has an abundance of talent to offer and I wanted to showcase the work of local artisans.
After weeks of perusing local markets and walking the streets of Cape Town’s CBD looking for suppliers for my initial venture, I was linked to a local artisan who worked with cotton rope. We initially tried the material on hats but it did not work, and this led my business to pivot into bags.
Where do you source the materials used to make your bags?
We source sustainable high-quality raw materials. The cotton we use is braided locally in Cape Town. Our 100% cotton rope is biodegradable making it a fantastic eco-friendly product.
How do you ensure that your manufacturing process is environmentally sustainable and responsible?
We focus on small-batch fashion that is made to order which helps reduce waste and overproduction.
How do you wish to change people’s perception of fashion through your brand?
I hope to create awareness of our country’s local talent so that people invest in sustainable, high-quality timeless products that are made to last.
Have you noticed any major changes in the South African fashion industry in terms of sustainability?
I feel that over the last couple of years there has been a boom in sustainable fashion brands. We have so many incredible fashion brands that are pioneering the way for locally manufactured items.
What is one thing you wish you had learnt about sustainable fashion at the start of your journey?
The most difficult part of sustainable fashion would be creating a fair environment for all, and margins are compressed as a result. Thus, it takes a bit longer for your business to get off the ground. Although I wish I had known that initially, it has led to increased pride in my business and after many hours of hard work, our products are starting to gain traction both locally and offshore.
Which bag is your all-time favourite?
What is your favourite item in your wardrobe? And why?
Besides a KELP bag, of course, I would have to say a good quality pair of jeans. I love their versatility.
- Images: Supplied by Samantha Rayment
- To learn more about KELP by Ray, check out their website and follow them on Instagram.