During her time as the founder of her own design label, she has had the opportunity to debate and converse with key members of the high fashion community, including one of Louis Vuitton’s Sustainability Scientists. Ethical, slow fashion is something that Kat has immersed herself in. It’s the kind of topic she’d gladly talk to you about over a cup of tea (or three).
For Kat, the overarching solution is education – teaching emerging generations to choose natural materials and shop consciously. She also advocates for building niche brands that speak to specific and bespoke design tastes instead of promoting mass-production. Other solutions include supporting local businesses, volunteering, buying less, mending more, treating your clothes with care, storing them correctly, buying second-hand and passing unwanted items onto other people. Her philosophy is simple – always consume, never waste.
In Kat van Duinen’s collection you’ll find interesting reinterpretations of the classic white shirt, asymmetrical creative perspectives on traditionally symmetrical designs, timeless monochromatic colour ways and a generous amount of tastefully designed bows and frills.
Kat van Duinen is about story-telling – sharing the African perspective with the world, becoming a pioneer in the local production space and driving change in the market for African luxury goods. Every garment tells a story about unwavering commitment, determination and unrivaled talent.
Ultimately, Kat sees herself as a problem-solver – someone who has built a brand that can answer the tough questions and pose new ones. As a team, her workforce constantly looks for ways to improve their operations. She believes in listening first and creating second, which means that for Kat, customer feedback, suggestions and questions are at the centre of the decisions she makes as a designer and as a businesswoman.
So when you purchase a Kat van Duinen garment, tell her about it. And if you’re South African, even better – seeing South Africans wearing proudly South African-made clothing is something that makes her heart sing, and we love it when that happens.