South Africa - Sealand, a globally recognised brand of environmentally friendly high-end bags, accessories and apparel, recently opened its first store in Cape Town, South Africa.
Sealand helps to reduce waste generation and promotes sustainability by making its products through the upcycling of the structural properties and textures of waste materials especially yacht sails, tents and advertising billboards and banners.
Co-founder and business visionary, Mike Schlebach, says that the store located at the new Dock Road Junction in the V&A Waterfront precinct in Cape Town is a natural progression of the brand’s growth into direct retail.
“We have wanted a space to host events and express our educational voice for some time and we are excited that we have found the right bricks-and-mortar space to showcase Sealand’s full brand and lifestyle offering. We have a second retail store planned for Jozi (Johannesburg), which will open during 2020. Over the next ten years, our vision is to see more Sealand stores strategically placed in different regions around the world,” adds Schlebach.
Jasper Eales who is Schlebach’s partner and the brains behind Sealand’s designs says his design philosophy is two-fold.
“First, reduce a design to its simplest functioning form where you remove rather than add, keeping in mind the principle that form follows function. Second, I try to incorporate environmentally responsible thinking with the ultimate goal being to tread lightly on this beautiful earth and to inspire others to do the same,” Jasper explains.
The Sealand brand is growing in terms of recognition as well as in revenue and export volumes.
Sealand recently won the Maker to Market Award at the sixth annual Design Foundation Awards, for its understanding of the value of brand-building and identity, marketing and consumer interaction.
Since its founding in 2015, Sealand’s revenue has grown at an average rate of 25% per annum and is set to soar by 100% this year. The company’s export volumes have also risen resulting in an increase from 5% to 40% of business turnover within the last 12 months.
With sustainability as its guiding value, Sealand’s upcycling efforts currently help divert approximately five tons of waste from landfill and prevent 108 tonnes of CO² emissions per year.
“The long term vision for the business is to substantially grow our upcycling capabilities to a point where we are turning hundreds of tons of waste materials into high quality products that are made so well they will never see a dumpsite. We love the idea that in order to make these products we need skilled people, so the more we sell the more sustainable jobs we create. We currently have 24 full-time employees and our goal is to increase this number dramatically in the next few years,” concludes Schlebach.
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