Between more sustainable processes, a keen awareness of what products are and where they come from, it’s no surprise in the context of the climate crisis that businesses are shifting their lens. In South Africa, there are few who match up to this commitment like Mungo. With nearly 40 years in the business, countless employees and a firm grip on the changing milling, manufacturing and retail landscape, Mungo has grown tremendously without reneging on its principles.
Last year, the Mungo mill became Global Organic Textile Standard-certified – a first for South Africa. GOTS is the world-leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. In 2018 Mungo found a supplier of organic cotton in Turkey, Egedeniz, the first Turkish cotton farmers to achieve GOTS certification. In 2019 Mungo launched its first 100% organic towel, The Aegean.The certification process included rigorous auditing which stretched from the demarcation of workspace into organic and non-organic material sections, recommendations about the appropriate gear for workers, even the washing machines were checked for their energy consumption.
According to a Mungo press release, over a three-day period each division of the mill in Plettenberg Bay was carefully scrutinised by Control Union – an independent certification body. “We were monitored from waste disposal to yarn lots, energy consumption, labour practices and health and safety. Compliance was met across the board, from our design and production, right through to our weaving, CMT, finishing, laundry, wholesale and retail departments.”
This year the certification was renewed, following a second and more rigorous audit, “reconfirming our commitment to produce the highest quality product using the highest quality threads”.
Along with its original 100% organic Aegean Towel, Mungo has relaunched its Baby Blankets, Belgian Waffle and Summer Towels in organic cotton.
With these achievements, Mungo has taken its place as a true leader in the field, representing South Africa amidst other more developed markets with more resources to achieve sustainability. Nevertheless, the brand has not rested on its laurels. As an ever-evolving business, responding to the challenges of doing business responsibly, they have remained agile and innovative. In addition to their staple products which include bed linen, table and kitchen linen and even baby towels, Mungo has also dipped their toes into the world of apparel, producing delicate linen and cotton bathrobes, aprons as well as scarves – all with their signature simple earth-inspired style. A committed and concerned leader in their field, they were a worthy recipient of last year’s Retail Award at the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards.
Why organic cotton?
Conventionally grown cotton is one of the least sustainable crops on earth. A water-thirsty crop, GMO cotton makes use of pesticides and insecticides in its production, which contaminate the soil, the air we breathe and the water we drink.
In contrast, the production of organic cotton requires no pesticides or synthetic fertilisers. Relying on the wisdom of traditional farming, the health of both the farmers and soil is preserved for future generations. Using up to 90% less water, and relying on more circular and regenerative systems, organic cotton presents a future for more sustainable textile production. Some organic farmers require no irrigation for their cotton crops.
- Mungo will be sponsoring the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards winners a towel each. For more information about Mungo see their website here. Images supplied