I have heard it is all in the name. Cape Jade is a plant from South Africa, otherwise known as the Jade plant and Lucky plant. I feel very fortunate to be able to incorporate my love of nature and preservation of the planet, love for the women who help me make Cape Jade's one of a kind pieces and love for the women who wear them.
Each piece of wearable art begins with dying the cloth. Botanical dyeing is a slow process of working with the rhythms of nature. For me, the rusults are far more interesting, holistic and beautiful in hue than commercial dyeing. Using these ancient techniques, I have learned to slow down, be more aware and appreciative of beauty. First, I start by collecting rainwater from our rooftop. Plant dyes like the alkilinity of rain water and by using what I collect, I am conscious of my consumption. Spending time in nature is my passion. When I forage leaves and flowers, I tune in, always asking the plants permission and being careful to not take too much from each source. In my studio, I artfully arrange and combine the leaves with an imagination for the shapes and the colors they will become, seeking balance and harmony. I then roll them carefully into bundles. Alchemy occurs when they are put into a steamy cauldron causing the iron and the tannins of the leaves to react. The result is the eco print, immortalizing each leaf onto the silk. Just as no two women’s beauty is ever the same, each eco print’s ethereal beauty is unique unto itself.
This season, we have focused on making one of a kind kimonos. Why kimonos? Because they are a sensual, luxurious and unique. They are designed to be heirloom pieces to be loved and cherished year after year. I want women to feel special. They are made from silk, a material so soft, it became an adjective. My kimonos are designed to be worn anywhere. I like that you can dress them up, wear them intimately or out with a pair of torn jeans and a tee. That’s the idea…the special occasion is right now…Right now I want to feel special. I want to feel sensual. I want these pieces to ignite a woman's sense of being a Goddess- confident, comfortable in her skin and adorned in a way that brings out her own unique beauty so she can shine.
Being a believer that beauty should never be wasted, all the offcuts of my production are made into eye masks.These eye masks are a special Cape Jade passion project dedicated to help empower two special women, Iris and Gladys. 100% of the proceeds will go to them. Iris is working passionately towards getting a certification to upskill other women less fortunate than her with her sewing skills. Gladys came to South Africa from Malawi in hopes of a better life. We are working with her to teach her viable skills so that she can better support herself and reunite her with her eight year old daughter.
Completing the circle of love and empowerment, 10% of all profits are given to Greenpop, a nonprofit organization planting trees and greening communities, and
empowering environmental stewards across Sub-Saharan Africa. Read how you can also get involved on my page about Greenpop!