A Uniquely Eco-Chic Durban July

Today I attended one of the largest events of the year in Durban: the Durban July.  When I heard that this was a horse race, I was rather skeptical about the event and didn’t think I’d want to attend.  However, I knew I had to make an appearance when one of my new local friends told me that “The Durban July is all about the fashion.  The horses are just the intermission.”

Sure enough, I was excited to see that everyone in attendance was dressed in a wide variety of styles that ranged from traditional race wear to wacky and wild.  The theme for this year’s fashion show was “A Material World?”.  No, it has nothing to do with the Madonna hit, as I initially assumed.  Rather, most of the fashions on the runway were created from recyclable materials.  Some of the most unique designs incorporated everyday materials such as paper, ink cartridges, compact disks, plastic spoons, license plates, tree branches, and bottle caps!  This event was certainly filled with original creations that allowed one to reflect on how eco-friendly fashion can become an enviable reality.

Here is the full text of the Durban July theme:


Seven billion people, the latest count.
Concern for the planet, the energies mount.

This event is red, that’s for sure.
But support for green, is part of the cure.

Spare a thought, for Mother Earth.
Need to save her, for all we’re worth.

Sustainably harvested, natural, organic.
Alternative fibres, no time for panic.

All these words, what do they mean?
For a start, change your routine.

Reduce, respect, reconstruct, ‘My Dear’.
Recycle, repair, rethink, ‘Monsieur’.

Show support, through what you wear.
Or what it’s made of, concern with flair.

Glitz and sparkle, are definitely in.
The overall impression, is what will win.

So for this day – Love red! Think green.
Your earth-friendly ensemble, will steal the scene!

The Vodacom Durban July
Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event

And here are photos of some of my favorite designs and celebrities!

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For additional photos from the Durban July fashion show, check out these features from Times Live, City Press and Style Scoop.

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