Lungile Peaceworth Maquba, founder of Unmade Brand was born and raised in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The brand found a home in Johannesburg; the creative city of gold. Unmade Brand has been in existence since 2016 – but was officially launched to the public in 2018. With two years in operation, the Unmade Brand was inspired by some of the unmet needs in the clothing industry.
Fashion with a purpose
Unmade Brand uses its products as an advocacy tool. It is also used to show the diversity within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex+ (LGBQTI+) community. The brand gives a voice to the misunderstood. The goal of the organisation is to create products that are affirming to Queer people. The T-shirt slogans are empowering, educating and bold.
Unmade Brand offers unisex products that are manufactured in South Africa, and use 100% cotton. Each sweater or T-shirt is adorned with a statement that sheds light on the LGBQTI+ community in different ways.
More than just a T-shirt
One of the T-shirts reflects preferred pronouns. It’s easier to assume that someone uses common pronouns but it is best to ask which ones they would prefer before addressing them. This boils down to inclusivity in communication. Common pronouns include “he, him, his” or “she, her, hers” but for people who are part of the rainbow spectrum or are transgender and gender non-conforming may use “they/them/theirs”.
It is important to use preferred pronouns because they validate and show respect.
Some products from the store include T-shirts that make statements on day to day living with a specific look into the “Normalize it all” culture. The LGBQTI+ representation in media, in day to day living and in school is lacking or often ignored.
Other products include merchandise with statements like “Surviving Adulthood”, “Melanin is a strength”, and “Feminine is an Attitude”.
“Our goal is to build a bigger sales team which is led by Silindokuhle Makwenkwe who is the dynamic drive for our sales. We plan to launch more products like winter wear, jewellery, underwear and more” says founder Lungile Maquba.
The importance of activism includes efforts to promote, impede, direct or intervene in social, political or economic reform with the desire to make changes in society toward a perceived greater good and if takes a statement T-shirt or sweater at a time then it’s up to society to make it fashionable.
Unmade Brand products retail from R180-R300. Each product comes in different sizes and colours.