Five Minutes with Cebo, Fashion Revolution SA, Ambassador

Our founder Jessica Ramoshaba chatted with Cebo Mtshemla, on why she is sold on sustainable fashion

“It won’t solve every issue in our current fashion system but it certainly is a step towards slowing fashion down.”

Cebo Mtshemla

How did you get into Fashion Revolution?

Shortly after watching The True Cost documentary in 2018. I grew interested in learning more about sustainable and ethical fashion. The @fash_rev Instagram was a really useful resource in helping me educate myself further on the topic. When I heard about the opportunity to get involved in your country as a student ambassador I knew I had to get involved somehow!

What is your role there?

My role as a student ambassador feels somewhat similar to all I was doing before officially being part of Fashion Revolution. Except now, I have even more room to take action. I continue to share resources and their posts on my Instagram stories to encourage engagement but now being part of the team will allow for room to make a direct impact by setting up events and having a channel to execute ideas with people who are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about changing our current fashion system. 

Why are you passionate about sustainability?

As someone who is working towards a career in fashion (I am a fashion design student), it’s important to reflect on the current fashion system and see what change I would like to make. Sustainability is about more than just the planet, it’s about people too. Fashion is sold to us in an incredibly glamorous way but wearing and making these clothes shouldn’t cost people’s lives. I’m passionate about sustainability because we need to protect the planet and those who make our clothes. 

What do you think young people need to understand about sustainable fashion?

That you don’t need a lot of money to make sustainable fashion choices. The most sustainable clothes are the ones you already own. Sustainable fashion, in reality, can cost very little. But with that being said, we all should reflect on what we think clothes should cost. Fast fashion has given us a warped perception of how much clothes are worth. 

What tips would you give someone who wants to start wearing sustainable fashion?

Start with what you have. You will be amazed by how many outfit combinations you can make with the same top. My first instinct was to start thrifting my clothes instead of buying from fast fashion, but over the past couple of months, I haven’t introduced new items into my wardrobe. Layering and playing with what I have has proven to be my way of making sustainable fashion choices. Be open to figuring out what your way will be. 

What two things regulations would you implement if you had power?

I wish there was a consequence for greenwashing because, in reality, it’s misinformation. We just need more regulations in place the ENFORCE ethical clothing production, push transparency, and create REAL sustainable solutions. A lot of sustainable businesses have been exploring on-demand manufacturing which, if fashion as a whole shifted in that direction would be interesting.