Why we should be applauding Meghan Markle's 'boring' royal tour outfits

The Duchess of Sussex has been making a green fashion statement while in Mzansi

01 October 2019 - 11:44 By Toni Jaye Singer
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wore a wrap dress by Mayamiko, a sustainable Malawian brand, when visiting Nyanga township in Cape Town on the first day of her tour of southern Africa.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wore a wrap dress by Mayamiko, a sustainable Malawian brand, when visiting Nyanga township in Cape Town on the first day of her tour of southern Africa.
Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

"Couldn't she be bothered to dress up for SA?" a colleague remarked as we pored over photos from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal tour of southern Africa.

Since the regal pair arrived in Cape Town last week, the Duchess of Sussex has been keeping her look informal and relaxed - perfectly acceptable in a country where people often wear jeans to weddings. After all, Meghan hasn't been to any black-tie events like state dinners or award ceremonies while here.

Probing deeper, it turns out it wasn't so much Meghan's casual vibe that my co-worker had an issue with, but rather the fact that she hadn't served up many sartorial surprises. Many of the things the duchess has worn we've seen before.

The duchess was first snapped in the Jacaranda blue wrap dress she donned to the District Six Museum when she was in Tonga on a royal tour of the South Pacific last year.

The same applies to the bold striped dress she wore to a garden reception at the British high commissioner's house in Bishopscourt: we'd previously seen her wearing it on Australia's Bondi Beach. 

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visits the District Six Museum and Homecoming Centre in Cape Town on September 23.
NOW Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visits the District Six Museum and Homecoming Centre in Cape Town on September 23.
Image: Karwai Tang/WireImage
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the unveiling of The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy at Tupou College in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, on October 26 2018.
THEN Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the unveiling of The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy at Tupou College in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, on October 26 2018.
Image: Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
Meghan at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, on October 19 2018.
THEN Meghan at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, on October 19 2018.
Image: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images
The Duchess of Sussex at a garden reception at the British high commissioner's home in Bishopscourt, Cape Town, on September 24.
NOW The Duchess of Sussex at a garden reception at the British high commissioner's home in Bishopscourt, Cape Town, on September 24.
Image: Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty Images

The chic black jumpsuit she wore to meet a group of female entrepreneurs in the Mother City was the same one she'd worn in a behind-the-scenes video of her guest-editing the September edition of British Vogue

"Her wardrobe is boring!" my colleague declared.

It might be boring for Meghan to repeat her outfits, but it's also politically savvy.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visits an event for female entrepreneurs at the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town on September 25.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visits an event for female entrepreneurs at the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town on September 25.
Image: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex flaunt their eco-conscious ideals - so much so that the Prince announced they'd limit themselves to  two children to help save the planet.

That's one of the reasons the pair recently came under fire for their decidedly un-eco-friendly decision to fly in private jets.

However, CBS News reports that the fashion industry's carbon footprint is bigger than the airline industry's.

"The apparel and footwear industries together account for more than 8% of global climate impact - greater than all international airline flights and maritime shipping trips combined," reported CBS.

So it seems the duchess has been making a fashion statement while in Mzansi: a green one.

Rather than subscribing to "fast fashion", which involves changing up your wardrobes as trends come and go, sustainable stylistas are buying well-made clothes - preferably from brands with eco-credentials - that have a longer lifespan and can be worn time and again.

Another green fashion lesson we can learn from Meghan? Pass previously loved clothes on to those who need them.

While visiting the NGO mothers2mothers in Cape Town, the Sussex Royal Instagram account reported that the Duchess donated two "large" bags of clothes that her infant son Archie and some of her friend's kids had outgrown.


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