Meet Earthnut: A South African Fashion Brand made for the Workplace

Meet Earthnut: A South African Fashion Brand made for the Workplace

Business attire around the world has been well known as the traditional suit and tie or a pencil skirt and blouse. While many businesses adopt the Western culture of dressing professionally in the workplace, this also held true in other countries such as South Africa until fashion brands like Earthnut designs came along and boldly changed the status quo for working women.


Image by Earthnut Designs Facebook 


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Earthnut Designs and Image by @randallcoopersa 

About Earthnut
Founder Nosipho Maketo-van den Bragt, knew first hand the need for this change through her experience working as a corporate attorney. In her past career, she remembers a level of corporate programming that would often refer to African prints as outdated, too quirky, and not attractive. Bragt stated, “I do think African people are no longer hiding behind other cultures. In a sense, through fashion and design, we are coming out of the shadows and bathing in the limelight of our presence, dominance, creativity, social power, and achievements.” Earthnut designs are known for utilizing the traditions of bold colorful prints with a more tailored look for corporate women. The Zulu beaded necklaces, suit jackets with African print trimmings on the lapel and sleeves are just a few fashion staples of the brand. This Johannesburg-based shop proudly celebrates Africa with outfits not necessarily for special occasions as seen during Heritage Day. They are among a growing demand that allows women to express their cultural normal lived identities on and off of the job.


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Image by Earthnut Designs Facebook 


Image by Earthnut Designs Facebook 

African Business Attire Traditions
Traditionally women in Africa who held corporate positions were not permitted to celebrate or showcase their full identity with their vibrant garments and accessories well known and respected around the world. These types of apparel were restrained from the workplace and needed to be replaced with the established code of corporate clothing, known from the Western culture. Take for example the case during African Day 2016 when South African journalist Nontobeko Sibisi appeared on the 24-hour news channel, eNCA, wearing an African print headwrap, or doek. Before airing, the news station pulled her piece from the broadcast. In an uproar, South African voices fled to social media supporting both Sibisi and doeks by wearing their own doeks and hashtagging #respekthedoek and #DoektheNewsroom. With this backlash, eNCA’s news director Mapi Mhlangu stated the doek drama was an indicator of a bigger shift and need for corporate attire policy change to meet the larger call in contemporary South Africa.


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Image by Earthnut Designs Facebook 

Today in the world of the ongoing pandemic, Earthnut fashion made no exception to working from home. Like many other businesses, they adapted to the need to protect their health and safety without compromising their heritage and cultural style by providing their customers with custom masks. Their new collection of masks comes in the signature hues of bright red and blue made from the East African fabric, Maasai Shuka. They also come in green, yellow, and orange earthy tones of Ghana’s Kente cloth, as well as South African Shweshwe kaleidoscope prints. “I think the popularity of the African aesthetic is about self-love and self-validation”, stated Maketo-van den Bragt, and we couldn’t agree more!

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To get your custom designed Earthnut business attire, visit them online and be sure to stay tuned for more global awareness, fashion news, pop culture, beauty content, and the Texas fashion industry be sure to check out more on StyleLushTV.com

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Kaia Dublin
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Kaia is a Trendsetter Member of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative currently learning about online fashion media and content creation through its mentorship opportunity. A fashion and music entrepreneur who is local at heart with an international outlook, Kaia Dublin is a Texas digital influencer, and fashion blogger who enjoys expressing herself with trendy-chic looks for the women on the go! Kaia also has a background in behavior health, working with children and families with special needs. Most recently she has been modeling and styling campaigns for her local fashion community and enjoys her position with Style Lush TV as their Fashion Services Coordinator.