Sabine's adamance that Maru be sustainable is an intersecting point of its vision - to be kind to the land we’ve been given, and give back to it. We've approached building Maru as a bottom-up sustainable brand. This is, creating a brand that exists within existing systems. The aim is to encourage activity in the industry where there is none, and where there is, present and remediate flaws.
We source textiles in as close to raw form as possible. We make use of linen, cotton, wool and leather (produced in Southern Africa and concentratedly, Botswana), which are all organic products. Conscious of ethical practice is - we assess the environment in which our production would be carried out to ensure fair practice is met. We agree to costing our producers with “supplier-first” proposed costing, which means that we go off of what suits the producer or supplier before we consider our own budget, so we accommodate these producers in our final price point. We vet our sources of supply to ensure that if it is flawed (non-sustainable, unethical or contrived), we remedy such flaws. The sustainable fabrics we used to produce our pieces are breathable, luxurious and durable compared to synthetic fabrics.
Sabine has also insisted on insighting consciousness in every aspect of Maru. As an example: all of Marus packaging, chemicals and treatment is sustainable by virtue of recyclability and non-toxicity. Marus packaging is made from unbleached cotton, stamped with water-based ink which can be recycled as it is made from decomposable, non-toxic materials. We’d love to see the packaging re-used, as a re-worked cushion, mask or cloth.
Maru also comprises a strong social facet, rooted in social consciousness, which too contributes to its sustainable aims. The efforts of social consciousness encourages sustainable thinking and practice outside of just the clothing and/or accessories we offer. Included (but not limited to) in this is conservation efforts and affirmative action which should result in sustainably grown environments in the future. Maru’s social efforts also include promoting interest in the culture, environment and general Southern Africa region, as well as the greater African continent. We carry out everything we do online to reduce our carbon footprint. We aim to create true economic and social change.
Given that Botswana is a nation of a little over 2 million people, where the manufacturing and textile industry is still burgeoning, we sometimes solicit neighboring regions (although they face their own set of challenges) for supply. We hope with this, that we strengthen regional relations - conscious of Pan-Africanist practice. Maru also practices 100% Black employment, from craftspeople to delivery partners, and where at all possible, Black women (we are at around 90%).
These points of intersection are Maru's mission and include encouraging localisation, growth of the black economy, digital engagement, welcoming tourism, women empowerment and of course sustainability and ethical-consumerism.
Choosing and practicing sustainability is doing our part to savour the beauty of nature and every point it intersects.