Sealand, the Cape Town born, globally recognised brand of environmentally smart high-end bags, accessories and apparel, has launched a store in the new Dock Road Junction at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Rooted in Cape Town where mountains and ocean vividly connect, the brand upcycles the structural properties and textures of waste material – specifically yacht sails, tents and advertising billboards and banners – into a new context, thus reducing the generation of waste and promoting sustainability.
The new store now gives South Africans and international tourists direct access to a wide range of Sealand products, previously only available online or in high end international stores such as
Selfridges, Matches Fashion and Mr Porter.
Co-founder and business visionary, Mike Schlebach, says that the store is a natural progression of the brand’s growth into direct retail. “We have wanted a space to host events and express our
educational voice for some time and we are excited that we have found the right bricks-and-mortar space to showcase Sealand’s full brand and lifestyle offering. We have a second retail store planned for Jozi, which will open during 2020. Over the next ten years, our vision is to see more Sealand stores strategically placed in different regions around the world.”
Jasper Eales is Schlebach’s partner and the brains behind the brand’s designs: “My design philosophy is two-fold. First, reduce a design to its simplest functioning form where you remove rather than add, keeping in mind the principle that form follows function. Second, I try to incorporate environmentally responsible thinking with the ultimate goal being to tread lightly on this beautiful
earth and to inspire others to do the same.”
The Sealand brand lives and breathes good design: it recently won the Maker To Market Award at the sixth annual Design Foundation Awards, for its understanding of the value of brand-building and identity, marketing and consumer interaction. In line with this, the store was designed by wellknown Cape Town designer, Marco Simal, and carefully considered to extend the brand’s identity. It incorporates well designed products which have considered the environment and supported good business along the way, such as signature pieces by MotherCityHardware and Laurie Wiid’s Wiid Design.
Sustainability on all fronts is a driving force behind the business, which currently diverts approximately five tons of waste from landfill and prevents 108 tonnes of CO² emissions per year.
“The long term vision for the business is to substantially grow our upcycling capabilities to a point where we are turning hundreds of tons of waste materials into high quality products that are made so well they will never see a dumpsite. We love the idea that in order to make these products we need skilled people, so the more we sell the more sustainable jobs we create. We currently have 24 full-time employees and our goal is to increase this number dramatically in the next few years,” concludes Schlebach.
With revenue increasing at an average rate of 25% per year and set to increase by 100% this year, plus a rapidly expanding export market –which has increased from 5% to 40% of business turnover within the last 12 months – Sealand looks set to achieve these goals and more, and to become an environmentally-responsible global high-end fashion brand.
To view the full range and experience the Sealand philosophy, please visit the new store at Unit 6, Dock Road Junction, V&A Waterfront.