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Thebe Magugu (@thebemagugu) 25-piece collection subverts the idea of Thorstein Veblen’s essay “The Theory of the Idle Class,” which sees fashion as starting in the bourgeoisie and working its way down through the rest of the classes until it ends up in places like Dunusa market.

Magugu shows the process in a video documentary, in which he makes a visit to the Dunusa market in downtown Johannesburg, one of the largest textile markets in Africa where textile waste from all over the West ends up.

With the 40 pieces of discarded clothing, the designer heads to the studio, where he analyzes them, photographs them, and then remodels them with updated materials. Giving these garments a second life, he brings a dose of luxury to many of these looks that become two-piece adidas tracksuits with capes, plaid tablecloths recycled into marabou-trimmed shawls, and other pieces with a high degree of optimism.

The African lesson on consumption in this collection by Thebe Magugu is loud and clear. A brilliant reflection on how consumption at all levels not only impacts on our immediate society but on the other side of the world, and how that affects local and global economies.

To see more collections from the SS23 season, click here.