07 March 2012 by Dianne Tipping-Woods

Designs worth shopping for

Creative people and creative places in Cape Town – original, imaginative and eco-friendly.

Inspired by the recent Design Indaba and the beautifully crafted South African products on sale at the expo, here’s a rundown of where to find some of the creative people who ply their trade in the city bowl and surrounds, as well as some newly discovered favourite places to shop in Cape Town – based on the Design Indaba Route.

Although the route wasn’t actively promoted at this year’s Design Indaba, the whale cottage blog has a comprehensive list of 2011’s listings. I chose a few of my favourites to share.

Starting at Bo-Kaap, you can visit Monkey Biz, a bead project that employs 450 women as bead artists. These women are truly inspiring. Bokkie Shoes on Long Street makes shoes from 100% cotton shweshwe print. They are gorgeous!  Urbanative Fine Jewels on Strand Street creates stunning, original jewellery and offers jewellery-making workshops too – something I would love to do.

At the V&A Waterfront (and elsewhere in South Africa), visit Carrol Boyes, whose upmarket homeware and table-top items in pewter and silver make great wedding gifts. At the nearby Cape Quarter visit FreeRange Jewels, which creates jewellery inspired by nature. It has some awesome concepts and produces really original work. 

Starting in Bo-Kaap, you can visit Monkey Biz, a bead project that employs 450 women as bead artists.

On the popular Kloof Street, Bluecollarwhitecollar makes shirts for every occasion that are quirky, fresh and of fantastic quality.

In Salt River, visit African Allsorts, which specialises in handmade bead and wire artwork.

A visit to nearby Woodstock could keep you busy all on its own. 

First up, Firepetals and Frieda Luhl are both worth a visit if you like hand-crafted jewellery. 

Also in Woodstock, Heath Nash creates eco-friendly items out of other people’s rubbish. You will also find gorgeous furniture by Haldane Martin, as well as the New Basket Workshop, which sells baskets made in rural areas. 

Also in the area, Mu & Me creates and sells an original stationery range, Imiso Ceramics are inspired by “modern Africa” and Moonbasket, in the Woodstock Industrial Centre, makes lampshades and home accessories. 

On the fashion front, Soulchild is a fashion brand based in Woodstock and Sway creates ladies’ clothing from hand-drawn images silk-screened onto fabric. Liesel Trautman has a beautiful porcelain homeware work­shop in Woodstock, and Katie Thompson's furniture range recycles and re-imagines furniture of all shapes and sizes, turning 1 person’s junk into something completely new.

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