Get ready for some life inspiration from our Innovator Interview this week featuring Masego of @coconut_cracked and co-founder of @cnscs_. Masego has been an outspoken sustainable style icon of ours for quite a while now and we particularly love how she prioritizes second hand looks and styling.
How did you get into slow/ethical/sustainable fashion?
I’ve worn pre-loved clothes most of my life because it’s my mother’s preferred way of shopping, if not local designers. Consciously I got into slow fashion in 2015. I used to want to be a fashion editor/stylist, after learning about the state of the fashion industry and particularly the fast fashion industry, I thought I didn’t want to be involved in the industry at all. I watched the True Cost and found out there were brands out there implementing sustainable and ethical practices, so I started to focus on trying to find more brands and people speaking about ethical and sustainable ways of having relationships with our clothes.
Who is your style icon?
I look at different people around me and on Instagram for inspiration, but my mom is definitely my biggest inspiration.
You just started the @cnscs_ account with a friend on Instagram. What was the inspiration behind it and what are your plans for the account?
It’s been a dream of mine to be part of or start a platform. cnscs_ (pronounced conscious) is inspired by mine and Stella’s friendship and passion for low-impact living & style. We want to create a community for people to learn and be inspired, including ourselves.
What is something about your heritages that makes you proud?
I’m Tswana South African and Japanese. Something that makes me proud of both parts of my heritage, is that there is a tradition of zero-waste and low-impact living. This has been lost in many ways or isn’t practised as much due to Euro-American… influence (is the nicest way I can put it). Such as colonisation by European countries of Southern Africa, USA pressuring Japan to open its ports in 1854 and later occupying Japan after WWII.
What do you think people who are new to sustainability should focus on as they get started?
Closet wise, finding one’s personal style and reimagine ways to wear the clothes you have. Following people/accounts that talk about the nuances and intersections of sustainable/ethical fashion and sustainability as a whole, like Aja Barber, Dominique Drakeford, Céline Semaan, Emi Ito, Slow Factory, GiveCredit and many more.
What is your future vision for sustainable fashion?
This is difficult to answer because I don’t feel like I can cover everything. I’d definitely like to see a lot more upcycling, people wearing pre-loved, more natural fibres, recycled materials. With recycled natural materials, it still needs virgin fibres to make the yarn strong so hopefully, more recycled fibres will not impact the agriculture industry negatively. There are too many clothes in the world and that’s a resource that needs to be tapped into. I think that things can only truly be sustainable if they are ethical so I’d like to see all brands being ethical, from what they pay their workers to the way they design clothes.