This South African Fashion Designer Is Using Natural Materials

Inga Gubeka is producing on-trend, sustainable fashion items | © Dominik Scythe/Unsplash
Inga Gubeka is producing on-trend, sustainable fashion items | © Dominik Scythe/Unsplash
Photo of Carina Claassens
8 August 2017

Inga Gubeka is breaking ground in the South Africa design industry by using unique methods and materials.

Inga Gubeka founded Indalo Decor in 2013 and works mainly from a studio in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town. Indalo Decor produces a variety of products, from backpacks, purses, clutches and phone accessories to décor items such as clocks and lighting solutions. What started out as an interior design company soon morphed into a fashion-meets-décor hybrid. The distinctive wooden products have become the envy of stylistas the world over, including South African supermodel Candice Swanepoel.

Umsebezi, the Workmen Collection | Courtesy of Inga Gubeka

Why wood?

Gubeka wanted to move into the fashion industry by producing pieces that aren’t readily available. He wanted to create unique items that would appeal to consumers used to a saturated market, and add something that cannot be bought anywhere else.

“Indalo” means “nature” in Zulu and, to stay true to the brand name, all items are manufactured using wood and leather. His designs can essentially be considered wearable pieces of art, instead of just another bag used to hold everyday items.

Clutch bag with yellow detail | Courtesy of Inga Gubeka

Gubeka made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and has a whiskey named after him!

Gubeka is known for his trademark wooden products but, aside for being an amazing designer, he is also one of the most well-regarded entrepreneurs in South Africa. In 2016 he was one of only five South Africans to make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

However, that’s not his only major achievement – Glenfiddich decided to name an R80,000 (£4635) bottle of whiskey after the young entrepreneur. At age 28 he was the youngest South African ever to have a whiskey named after them.

Laptop bag | Courtesy of Inga Gubeka

Where to buy the products

Check out Indalo Decor on Facebook for the stockist and online shopping information. For those in Gauteng, Indalo Decor can be found at 70 Juta Street, Braamfontein, in Johannesburg.

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