Designer crafts sustainable fashion

SUSTAINABLE … Chanté Jenae has designed an asymmetrical dress crafted from repurposed fishing nets, showcasing a fusion of sustainability and fashion. Photo:

Chante Jenae is a Namibian fashion brand, designing contemporary sustainable womenswear for those in search of a slower lifestyle.

The brand is driven by the need for conscious clothing among women, which is primarily based on nuanced details, versatility and longevity.

Fashion designer Chanté Bock (28) says every Chanté Jenae garment represents herself and her purpose, which is to be kind, specifically to nature.

Bock, who is from Walvis Bay, says while fashion is important to her, it is one of the most polluting industries in the world.

“I believe big change starts small. I am taking it day by day as an individual and as a designer, to live more thoughtfully and refocus my energy on finding my purpose and value in life,” she says, adding her aim is to create a conscious lifestyle brand with a sustainable impact in Namibia.

Bock says people can start consuming fashion sustainably by investing in good quality pieces, constructed with natural textiles.

“The most sustainable garment you have is the one already in your closet. That means we don’t constantly need to buy new garments. If the need arises, you could always shop second hand,” she says.

“My speciality is sustainable womenswear, surface pattern and textile design; specifically using traditional methods and fusing them with a contemporary design approach, in both textiles and garment making.

“I like my work to be part of telling a story or having a cause. It could be exploring a theme or idea, or finding new and innovative ways to reduce my carbon footprint,” she says.

Bock was one of the designers who showcased their work at the University of Namibia (Unam) Commonwealth fashion show, which took place over the weekend in Windhoek.

The Commonwealth show aimed to promote ethical and sustainable fashion practices in Namibia and other Commonwealth member states.

“It was an absolute honour to present Unam at the Commonwealth fashion show. We were 11 selected alumni, each presenting a different Commonwealth country.

“I had India, with its rich cultural influences. I created two looks, each with a different influence,” she says.

Bock, who graduated with an honours degree in fashion and textiles from Unam in 2018, achieved one of her goals when she participated in the MTC Windhoek Fashion Week 2023.

“I believe as Namibians, we are slowly finding our identity in fashion. I equally enjoy all aspects of designing, but what always brings the most joy is the textiles and hand craftsmanship, and how I get to share my purpose with the viewer,” she says.

Bock says she looks forward to potential collaborations between Namibian fashion designers and textile producers in the coming years.

“Fashion is incredibly demanding, and I wish luck and success to all who pursue their passion amid its complexities,” she says. –

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