Design Indaba 2009 - Thoughts And Trends

    Many of us had the fortunate experience of attending the Cape Town Design Indaba 2009 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre at the end of February.

At this annual Indaba many young talented designers showcase their creativity through their skills and their products. This showcasing platform aimed mostly at local talent is a fantastic way to encourage creativity, out-the-box thinking and ensuring that South African design juices continue flowing (in whichever direction they choose).

A common thread that ran through this year's Design Indaba was the wider inclusion of greener resources or subject matter (recycled, cheaper, renewable resources or even waste products) into the designs.

Some items included furniture crafted out of alien vegetation (, chic recycling with shipping crates and railway sleepers, shopping bags made from recycled food transport sacks (, clothing using organic bamboo, cotton and wool and hemp silk ( and jewelry that repurposes antique cutlery and found objects.

From an architectural perspective, a creative modular eco-home was also showcased. Chic modern finishes whilst using greener materials makes this product a definite YES! in transforming our approach to traditional home building and living (


Biodiversity Wine

Darling, less than an hour's drive from Cape Town, is the first wine producing district to be awarded membership status by the Biodiversity Wine Initiative (BWI) with all individual farms, including Cloof, Burghers Post, Groote Post, Ormonde, as well as Darling Cellars, achieving accreditation.

Biodiversity refers to all the genes, species, eco-systems and processes that allow life to persist over time. When biodiversity is intact, species and eco-systems are resilient, enabling them to adapt to environmental changes. When biodiversity is lost, nature responds unpredictably, making it difficult for growers to plan production and protect natural resources.

Inge Kotze from the BWI ( explains further "This exemplary wine district encapsulates BWI's central philosophy of conservation and continual improvement of all aspects of environmental management on the farm. With the guidance and support of Darling Tourism, they have worked very effectively at their continual environmental improvement to conserve highly threatened habitats".

Darling winelands

Degradable / biodegradable / compostable

Many companies have started to become aware of the need to be more eco- and consumer-friendly and have started specifying whether an item is genetically modified (GM), free range, biodegradable and so forth.

But to the consumer, this new terminology can be as misleading and as confusing as the differences between vegetarian, vegan, piscatorian and fruitarian, so we have found some explanations:

  • Degradable plastics are sometimes referred to as oxo-degradable plastics and are polyethylene-based but contain a metal additive to promote degradation. Degradation occurs in the form of repeated fragmentation following exposure to UV light or dry heat.

  • Biodegradable plastics are bioplastics that degrade, or break down, into harmless substances through the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms.

  • Compostable plastics are bioplastics which like, biodegradable plastics, degrade through the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms. These plastics can be safely composted together with organic waste to produce compost, a soil improver. Compostable plastics do not hamper the composting process because they disintegrate safely and do not pollute the final compost.

Have a look at the packaging of your items to see which would be better for the environment and therefore which brands are more suitable to support with your purchase.

Source :


Communing with nature

About 2 hours drive from Cape Town, near to the small town of Porterville, lies a hidden beauty. A fantastic camp spot for you, your partner, your family and your dog is Beaverlac, in the region of the Olifants River Mountains.

The Beaverlac campsite is situated on a working farm nestled between the mountains of the Dasklip Pass and is surrounded by about 5000 hectares of Cape fauna and flora.

The Olifants River and the Ratel River both bless this area with its fresh mountain water and refreshing rock pools, waterfalls, rock jumps and crystal clear water are plentiful. The area has an abundance of fynbos that brings colour and texture to the area, no matter which season of the year it is visited. There are many hiking trails that cater for casual to advanced hikers and bird watching is a pleasure.

The campsite has a strict "no music" policy, so eating meals in the soft crackling of the campfire, and falling asleep to the sounds of the frogs and crickets is an opportunity not to be missed, especially when an escape from the hum drum of city living is required.

There is (fortunately) no cellphone reception in the area but there is a public phone at the campsite reception. The campsite also has a small shop that sells the basics as well as cold drinks, beer, wine, wood and ice. There is also a deep freeze in the shop that campers can use at a minimal charge.

Campsites and chalets are available, and day visitors are also welcome. Beaverlac is pet friendly so your dogs are welcome to socialize with the other canines on holiday.

Beaverlac Campsite (022) 931 2945

Beaverlac campsite

Hot News

Launch of Living Matter's new website

Living Matter has just undergone a revamp to their website. The previous website was designed and written to capture a start in the landscape design market in 2004. The business itself has grown over this period and required a more appropriate website to meet with the current positioning and services of the company.

The new website has new depth and very informative content, while the design brings the website into a more professional line. Cheral and The Pixel Zoo have been working on this website for a few months, bringing together the ideas and the design together in an easy-to-navigate, useable, interactive but creative showcase tool.

Visit to see us kick start a new phase of the business.

Hedgehogs Specials

Hedgehogs now have their own yard and as such, are able to stockpile more materials, enabling them to offer their clients far better value on organic materials such as compost, topsoil, mulch, pavers and plants.

They have great deals now on :

  • Compost: R290 per cubic m (a bakkie load) includes delivery
  • 20kg trees for under R120
  • 6pack groundcover for less than R12 per pack
  • 4kg perennials & shrubs for under R25 per plant
  • 10kg shrubs for under R55 per plant

Visit or call Greg on 082 732 0143


Amaryllis Belladonna

Amaryllis Belladonna
(March Lily)

Family : Amaryllidaceae

Description : Indigenous perennial bulb to 0.75m pink with dark pink, or white with red stripes in centre of petal

Flowering time : Late Summer

Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Average water
  • Enriched and well drained soil
  • Frost resistant

Vitamin A / Retinol

RDA for adults : 800/1000mcg

Description :

  • Promotes healthy skin & good night vision
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Keeps lining of mouth and lungs moist

Absorption helper : Bit of oil
Inhibitor : cholestyramine, antacids & lack of zinc

Good sources:

  • Butter - 815mcg/115g
  • Egg yolk - 585 mcg/115g
  • Oysters - 75mcg/115g
  • Anchovies - 57mcg/115g

Therapeutic uses :

  • Psoriasis and acne
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory problems
  • Glaucoma
  • Measles

(Source: Vitamins & Minerals Handbook)


Click here to subscribe to our newsletter

Advertise with us

Click here to see what options we have available for advertising or brand exposure.

Contact Cheral:

Cell: 082 82 509 82