Can you imagine a bag created from recycled seatbelts, reused car/homestead upholstery and rejected fabric sample books?
This is exactly what planet friendly bag company I Scream & Red has done. They also bind all their products with natural or organic cotton and materials to ensure that it is green endorsed.
Not only the earth benefits here. People from previously and currently disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as disabilities, are trained and employed with the skills to turn this forward thinking vision into reality through sustainable employment.
All materials are sourced within the vicinity of production to minimize carbon emissions. Those with disabilities are cared for by teaching them how to design and start businesses of their own.
I Scream & Red thrives not on the amount of people they would like to work with, but believes in the organic growth of touching lives and focusing on the impact they can have on people at no cost to the earth.
This company also offers screen printing done with non-toxic pastes and selections of organic cottons are used for the stitching and lining. Proudly 100% locally made products are environmentally friendly, with superb quality.
Mission planet, people, unity, fashion
- To Save the earth by creating planet friendly items
- To Cultivate an eco-friendly/conscious society
- To empower and help people with disabilities and those from rural areas
- To build consumers’ confidence and unite them by what they wear
- To create a planet friendly change within the fashion industry
- To Save, To Cultivate, To Empower, To Unite, To Create
Who is the exceptional person behind this story – they boy with wonder in his eyes and a feel for fabric?
Zaid Philander was raised in Woodstock, a small suburb in Cape Town, where both his parents worked full-time. They were determined to support their five children, so mother turned to craft to earn extra income. With his parents busy at work, he developed a close relationship with his elder sister who learned how to cut, sew and design from books, before she moved on to the Italian dressmaking school.
While other children played ‘blind man’s bluff’, Zaid chose to be ‘blinded’ by sewing hems by hand, cutting brown paper patterns and stitching on buttons. This was his sister ‘s attempt at keeping Zaid busy by teaching him how to unpick hem lines and doing cuttings (the work that every seamstress dislikes!).
Zaid’s felt encouraged him to purchase his own sewing machine, which he managed on his 10th birthday. Yet he was too short to be able to reach the pedal! Determined to sew, Zaid and his sister worked on a contraption to make the machine child friendly by using a hose pipe and a crutch. So he started sewing his first set of hand puppets with the man-made contraption using his elbow. He soon advanced to making simple garments and projects for neighbours, friends and family.
At age 20, Zaid studied environmental awareness scoring in the 90%. Having cultivated a love for nature during his days as a boy scout, he chose to combine his two passions. This is where the vision was born for bags created in the most planet friendly – which started creating an environmentally conscious movement within the fashion industry.
Zaid was nominated and selected as a Climate Change Champion through the British Council Project, ‘Low Carbon Futures’. He now not only makes bags, but also teaches people with disabilities to make them and plans on growing this initiative even further.
Ever since a he was a little boy, sewing was neither a talent nor a gift that was given to him by the ‘higher power’, but a responsibility that he decided to undertake; a responsibility that he will use his talents and knowledge for the betterment of the environment, society and the fashion industry.
“I strive today to inspire, sew and create a planet friendly movement within the fashion industry, one stitch at a time,” said Zaid.
“As a young boy I was told that sewing was for the opposite sex and that I do not fit the profile. Yet, against all odds (my length, my strength and apparently my gender) I accomplished what I wanted: to sew. Today, I train people with disabilities to sew these planet friendly items as I can relate to how society puts limitations on you. My task is now not only to prove them wrong, but to inspire others to do whatever they believe they want to achieve. For me, the choice began with a needle and thread.”