Differently1 is a South African fashion brand created with a mission to provide sustainable and affordable clothing options to consumers. The brand was founded by cousins Silver and Michelle Nel, who were motivated by a desire to create positive change in the fashion industry. With a background in fashion design, Silver saw the need for a brand that was focused on sustainability, affordability, and rare style.
The Differently motto is: “Breaching the gap between rare style and affordability” and much like the founders of Differently’s sisterly bond, the brand hopes to embody a culture of empowerment, inclusivity, versatility, and authenticity.
The business was born out of a passion for sustainability and a desire to create positive change in the South African fashion industry. Differently offers a range of clothing styles that are made ethically.The brand is committed to fair labour practices, ensuring that all of their products are made in ethical working conditions.
“With the rise and slow decline of fast fashion, we aim to design garments that not only fit well but are wearable and interchangeable for different outfits and occasions. While being on trend, we aim to sell pieces with a classic undertone in order for our customers to wear them from season to season, eliminating the need to throw away clothing due to it not being on trend. This is also one of the reasons why we focus on manufacturing garments of a high quality and take great care in listening to what our customers want. “ – Silver Nel, Creative Director
Despite the growing popularity of sustainable fashion, the industry is facing several challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the high cost of sustainable materials and ethical production processes, which can make it difficult for consumers to access affordable and sustainable clothing options. Additionally, there is still a lack of education and awareness about the benefits of sustainable fashion, which can make it difficult for consumers to understand why it’s important to support sustainable brands.
However, there are also many opportunities for businesses in the South African sustainable fashion market. The growing awareness and concern about the environmental impact of the fashion industry is driving demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly clothing options. South African consumers are looking for more ways to support and empower local businesses and many are opting to buy locally produced garments over large, fast-fashion corporations. Additionally, the rise of e-commerce has made it easier for consumers to access sustainable fashion brands from all over the world, including South Africa.
Silver and Michelle’s advice to others who are thinking about starting a business in the sustainable fashion industry is to stay true to your values and to always prioritise sustainability and ethical production processes. They also recommend staying focused on your customers, by listening to their needs and incorporating their feedback into your product offerings. Finally, they suggest having a team that is dedicated and committed to the mission of your business, as starting a business is challenging, but with the right people and support, it is possible to achieve success in the industry.
Differently is a South African fashion brand that is changing the game in the South African fashion industry. With their focus on sustainability, affordability, and style, they are making it possible for consumers to make a positive impact on the environment, while still looking and feeling great. If you’re looking for a sustainable fashion brand that truly make a difference, Differently is definitely one to check out!
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