June brings National Environment Month, with the South African government and captains of industry leading the way by stimulating awareness of environmental issues and challenging all to become agents for change.

The environment encompasses the surroundings where individuals, animals or plants live and operate, and is significantly influenced by human activities. World Environment Day, observed every year on 5 June, aims to raise awareness and promote actions to safeguard the environment.

In light of this, we highlight three Bay Harbour Market traders – along with Hout Bay’s renowned Re.Bag.Re.Use initiative – all of whom are committed to sustainable business practices.

What began as a desire to turn hobby into passion has flourished into fully-fledged businesses that bring home the bread and butter and help the environment in the same breath.


LEZA was founded by sustainable designer Jodi Leza Thurtell who recycles textile waste – a pervasive issue across industries worldwide – into fashion.

In Cape Town alone, 70 000 tons of textile waste overwhelms landfills annually. Recognising the urgency, Thurtell repurposes this waste into clothing, accessories and decor, demonstrating a profitable model.

While still evolving, LEZA pioneers sustainable practices, engaging with both businesses and individuals. Future plans for the local fashion business include workshops and digital resources to promote upcycling. Thurtell’s long-term goals involve consultancy and collaboration to reshape waste into new products.

‘Embracing sustainability begins with education and awareness, which are crucial steps toward a greener future.’

Picture: @leza_co / Instagram

Peaches Skateboarding

Peaches Skateboarding was founded by Dante Bazzea. He is both a local street skater and a skateboard designer who designs and prints locally while also selling locally-made branded boards.

Rooted in Cape Town’s vibrant skater culture, Peaches Skateboarding is passionate about giving back to the community. Through their deck exchange initiative, they donate functional skateboards to Ziyaad’s Skate School in Hout Bay.

Bazzea’s main challenge is sourcing top-quality decks, which have currently been imported from Canada. To combat this, Peaches Skateboarding has been striving to minimise its carbon footprint by producing locally and supporting creative repurposing projects as much as possible.

‘Sustainability is a journey and we encourage exploring unconventional solutions and collaborating to create win-win outcomes,’ says Bazzea.

In the past, Peaches Skateboarding have donated old un-skateable decks to Dave of SkateShades, who repurposed them into funky sunglasses. This collaboration not only reduced waste but also supported a creative local business.

Picture: @peaches_skate / Instagram

Labels for Less

Labels for Less is a thrift store founded by Melanie Spickernell that sells good quality pre-loved goods plus end-of-range items.

Melanie loves the idea of recycling clothing, it helps the environment and in return, you get quality items at a third of the price. Labels for Less supports charity shops so it’s a win-win all around. Labels for Less also donates to DARG monthly and buys from charity shops from time to time. Additionally, Labels for Less also offers a shopping voucher in exchange for clothing.

Picture: @melspickernell / Instagram


Re.Bag.Re.Use is an initiative that repurposes empty bread bags into multifunctional products. Items are crocheted by a group of ladies from Imizamo Yetho in Hout Bay.

Excessive plastic is wreaking havoc on the environment. These ladies are part of an initiative where plastic is reduced from landing up in the environment and, at the same time, giving them an opportunity to unleash their creativity while earning some extra cash.

All they need are scissors, a crochet hook and plastic.

Re.Bag.Re.Use has repurposed plastic to the equivalent of 82 775 bread bags into versatile items so far, reimbursing its 15 participating ladies upon completion. Their main challenge is dealing with dirty plastic; they can’t repurpose food-contaminated material for health reasons.

They aim to expand this initiative in Hout Bay and replicate it elsewhere, collaborating with corporations to repurpose their plastic. A single plastic bag may seem worthless, but to some, it’s a chance to provide for their family through creativity.

Picture: @re.bag.re.use / Instagram

As Thurtell aptly puts it, ‘The challenge of waste may seem overwhelming at times, but even the smallest steps towards sustainability can accumulate into significant change. Once you take that initial step, it sets off a chain reaction of innovative thinking and improvement’.

ALSO SEE: Cultivating sustainable communities through nutritious garden with Soil for Life

Cultivating sustainable communities through nutritious gardens with Soil for Life

Feature image:@leza_co / Instagram

Published by Cape {town} Etc.