Leat, how did you get involved in fashion?
I was five years old. I raided my sisters scrap materials, which she was using for a project. I made myself a dress, I sewed it and even put buttons on it. I was just a kid, the love of fashion has never left me. I have dreamed of having a label for as long as I can remember.
What is the story behind the name?
The name is about me declaring that I will follow my heart and follow who I am and be true to all of the desires, hopes and dreams I have for myself. As opposed to letting others or my own excuses dictate the life I will have, without allowing what I truly want for myself to take flight. This for me is about doing the things I said I would do.
Let us talk about Fashion Revolution…
There has been a movement towards ethical fashion for quite some time. When I was living in London the Ethical Fashion Forum came up, I used to attend their events. I just started to realize that my love for fashion is a lot more than just a love of clothes. It has a lot to do with the ability fashion has to actually impact lives. It is the poorest people in the world who make your clothes. If you can impact those people then you are basically weeding out a generation of slaves, who are the last generation of slaves left, they are working and living in the worst conditions.
Future plans for your label?
I would like to grow my label in South Africa and help stimulate the local economy, especially in relation to the garment sector. The garment sector was once thriving in South Africa and then with globalization, everything moved abroad because it was cheaper. We could be employing so many people. The industry has the potential to employ so many people, we are not doing that because we are fixated on cheap, fast fashion. If I can change people’s mindsets then I will have done my job.
So your message to South Africa consumers?
Start making positive choices with regards to what you wear. Think about where, what you have bought is made and the impact that, that might have on peoples lives. If you are buying a garment for R5 there is defiantly someone getting shortchanged in that whole process.