Katlego Mokwana on sustainable fashion and her latest collection inspired by a Bible scripture

“Kganya” by Mother Of Gao. Picture: Eunice Driver.

“Kganya” by Mother Of Gao. Picture: Eunice Driver.

Published May 15, 2024


Platforms like the SA Fashion Week Mr Price New Talent Search are important because they introduce us to new emerging designers.

This season we learned of Mother Of Gau, a fashion brand owned by Katlego Mokwana who is big on sustainability.

Mokwana is a former BA Fashion Design student from LISOF who never finished her studies. However, not completing her degree did not deter her from owning a fashion brand.

Katlego Mokwana (front) of Mother Of Gao. Picture: Eunice Driver.

She launched “Mother Of Gao” three years ago, with her six-year-old daughter Gaopaleloe inspiring the name of the brand name.

The designer said she ventured into fashion because she had difficulties finding the correct size when she was growing up.

“Growing up I was a plus size girl and it was difficult to find clothing that fit my aesthetic, so I decided that I want to make my own clothes and that’s what led me to fashion,” she said.

The designer from the Vaal, south of Joburg, recently launched a new collection titled “Kganya”, inspired by the Bible scripture.

“Kganya” by Mother Of Gao. Picture: Eunice Driver.

“My collection for SA Fashion Week was inspired by the scripture Isaiah 60:1 which speaks of God’s glory shinning upon us.

“I wanted to speak to this inspiration by using natural dyes on some of the garments as a way to connect to God as the creator, and I specifically chose the marigold flower because it produces a yellow colour which I thought is a perfect representation of glory/light,” Mokwana explained.

The use of sustainable material made this hand painted collection using natural dyes, a stand out.

“I used linen, Egyptian cotton, 100% cotton fleece and bull denim so I can use my natural dyeing techniques (flower pounding & bundle dyeing) on them since they are 100% biodegradable.

“The other supporting fabrics I used were Mia Satin and embroidered cotton,” she added.

“Kganya” by Mother Of Gao.

Mokwana said sustainability was important to her because she made clothes for people who supported sustainable practices, and valued unique, quality products.

“Sustainability to me means that I either have to produce a garment that is biodegradable or a garment that has been made ethically with a focus on its longevity in a customers wardrobe.

“That is why I would love to see Mother Of Gao as an international brand that has its own production facilities consisting of a natural dye workshop, CMT, packaging and marketing sections,” Mokwana explained.