Terms and Conditions
Welcome to TONGUES, provided by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (“we”, “us”, “our”). Access to and use of this website (“TONGUES”) is provided by us on the basis of a number of important terms and conditions, which are set out in full below.
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Changes to Terms
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Third party websites
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© TONGUES — An initiative by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd


Privacy & Cookies Policy
The tongues.cc website is operated by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (‘TONGUES’).
This privacy policy applies to TONGUES.
We want you to enjoy our website and services secure in the knowledge that we have implemented fair information practices to protect your privacy. By visiting our website, you are accepting the practices described in our privacy policy, including our use of cookies and similar online tracking technologies. If you do not agree to the terms of this privacy policy, please do not use the website.
TONGUES may change this policy from time to time by updating this page and you should regularly check to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy was last updated on 11 February 2020.
The policy outlines:
1. General principle
2. How we collect information
3. Types of information we may collect
4. How we use your information
5. How we protect the information we collect
6. Access to your personal information
7. How to contact us
1. General principle
There are two types of information we may collect from you when you use the website: non-personally identifiable information and personally identifiable information. Non-personally identifiable information does not individually identify you, but it may include tracking and usage information about your general location, demographics, use of the website and the internet. Personally identifiable information is information that you voluntarily provide when you set up a user account, subscribe to a newsletter, or query that can individually identify you and may include your name and email address etc.
We do not link non-personally identifiable information to your personally identifiable information.
We do not share either type of information unless required to run the website and services (see third-party services below). We will never sell either type of information.
This privacy policy does not apply to any information collected outside of the website, including offline or through other means (for example, via telephone or through email), unless otherwise stated below or at the time of collection.
2. How we collect information
We collect information when you:
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— Answer a reader survey
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Links to other websites, social media platforms
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our website, you should note that we do not have any control over the information that is collected and shared about you. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
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3. Types of information we may collect
The types of information we may collect includes:
— Account information (email address)
— Information you provide through a TONGUES reader survey which might include age range, education level etc
TONGUES is not responsible for any information you have provided in public areas of our website or on our social media platforms, which may then be viewed by other users.
4. How we use your information
The information we collect may be used to help us:
— Provide services you voluntarily subscribed to such as email newsletters
— Improve the quality of our website
— Promote services to you including advising you of updates or changes to our website and services
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Disclosure to third-party services
As part of providing our website and services to you we use a limited number of third-party services that perform functions on our behalf, including but not limited to website hosting, server monitoring, tracking user behaviour, marketing automation services, and customer service.
We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of these third-party services and encourage you to read the policies of the services we use below:
TONGUES uses the MailerLite marketing automation service to issue newsletters. Find out more about MailerLite’s Privacy Policy and Terms.
When you subscribe to our email newsletters
By clicking ‘Subscribe’ you agree to the following: 
We will use the email address you provide to send you a weekly or monthly email. We also send occasional updates and, no more than once a year, reader surveys. 
The email address/es you provide will be transferred to our external marketing automation service ‘MailerLite’ for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms. We use MailerLite to issue our newsletters. We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of MailerLite
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe link’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected]. If you want to review and correct the personal information we have about you, you can click on ‘update preferences’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected].
5. How we protect the information we collect
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. We have taken reasonable measures to protect information about you from loss, theft, misuse or unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. No physical or electronic security system is impenetrable however and you should take your own precautions to protect the security of any personally identifiable information you transmit. We cannot guarantee that the personal information you supply will not be intercepted while transmitted to us or third-party service providers. 
Sharing your personal information
We will not disclose your personal information except; (1) as described by this Privacy Policy (2) after obtaining your permission to a specific use or disclosure or (3) if we are required do so by a valid legal process or government request (such as a court order, a search warrant, a subpoena, a civil discovery request, or a statutory requirement). We will retain your information for as long as needed in light of the purposes for which it was obtained or to comply with our legal obligations and enforce our agreements. 
Data transfer
This website is published in the United Kingdom. If you are located in a country outside of these countries and voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to us, you should be aware that information about you will be transferred to this countries. We attempt to comply with local data protection laws to the extent that they may apply to TONGUES. 
Age of consent
Our website is not directed at children under the age of 18 and we do not knowingly collect or maintain information from those we know are younger than 18. If you are younger than 18, you should not submit or post any personally identifiable information to our website. By using the Service, you represent that you are at least 18 years of age.
6. Access to your personal information
You may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you by submitting a written request to [email protected]. We may only implement requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address you use to send us the request. We will try and respond to your request as soon as reasonably practical. When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. 
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the information held is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. 
7. Contact us
If you have any questions about our privacy policy or our use of your information, please contact us at [email protected].

Cleo Droomer

January 26 / 2023


Cleo Droomer — a designer from Cape Town, South Africa — won the Changemaker Award and the Innovative Design and Material Award at the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2022.

As a South African of mixed heritage, Droomer is driven by the cultural histories of his ancestors and the complexities of being a brown body in the world today. After leaving a long tenure in corporate fashion, he started asking new questions that sit in the intersection of art, storytelling, fashion, biomimicry, heritage and spirituality. This new enquiry around these practices are facilitating and informing his approach to making, mending and tending to a planet in crisis.

He is currently working on a series of multimedia and textile-based artworks exploring South Africa’s rich cultural history, creating soft sculptures and wearable archives. Central to his work is the practice of re-imagining living well with the earth and one another by mending and ‘piecing-apart’ the intricate tapestries that bind us.


Q >What was your first encounter with fashion as an art form? When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

A >I was a very curious child growing up, and would constantly find myself making things from my immediate surroundings. I remember clearly weaving and plaiting the hanging vines of the willow tree outside my childhood home after school. At the age of eight, I asked my mother for knitting needles and wool as I was desperate to learn how to knit. One of my favourite childhood toys was a cast iron Victorian iron that my family used as a doorstop, that I fondly remember spending hours with. My fascination always lay in the creation and making, but also with the world of my ancestors, where making seemed to be a thing everyone did. So I think I realised I was a maker first, and actually that’s what I am.

Somehow the medium I felt drawn to the most was in textile. The process of becoming intrigued me way more than the end product, so naturally when I decided to study design in 2007, and was taught the basics of making a garment I took to it like a fish in water. My earliest inspirations whilst studying helped me garner a new respect for fashion as an art form, taking great admiration in the works of McQueen, Galliano, Iris van Herpen, Vivienne Westwood and Mugler.

Q >Tell us how your work and inspirations have evolved over time?

A >Fashion has been a constant state of becoming for me. It still is. I think the one thing fashion does consistently is change – it is an industry that changes daily, and I think we don’t think critically enough about this. I started fresh out of design school working for big industry names creating couture evening gowns, and managed to create a runway career on the side. To me, fashion at this point was all about the show, the glamour and the fashion ideal that the media sells us. As I ventured into corporate fashion, the rise of elevated ready-to-wear started to infiltrate retailers and mass market fashion seemed to have been changed forever. As a designer in retail, your gaze is firmly set on the consumer and less on the fantasy of the fashion world. During my years in retail, something shifted for me, and took me back to my original calling and longing to be a maker. And so I find myself moving with the change, but in a circular way, on a series of returns, orbiting my capacities to make and re-making myself in the process. My inspirations recently have neatly tied with my understanding of myself in relation to my past, this country, the triple “C” threat of climate change, Covid-19 and capitalism, and what it means to respond to these in my own way, and in my making. 

Q >What’s the most satisfying part of your creative process?

A >Playing a great playlist and getting lost in my studio. 

Q >Drawing from your own personal experience, why is sustainability so important for the fashion industry?

A >I like to think of an ideal scenario in the fashion industry as regenerative rather than sustainable. The garment industry plays a big role in the climate crisis we are currently facing. Current speed to market is 10 times faster than it was 10 years ago, and rapidly increasing as supply for fast fashion increases.  

The current state of sustainable fashion in South Africa is at a crossroads as well and has some big decisions to make. I feel that currently the weight and burden is carried by young people, small business, and entrepreneurs, and that more could be done by big industry. While there are some shifts happening — such as improving sustainable textiles sources, reducing waste and packaging — there needs to be more robust and proactive measures to steer the trajectory of fashion entirely. For example, there is little awareness on post-consumer waste in South Africa, or measures to deal with it — and what is really disturbing is the significant investments in fossil-fueled sourced textiles like polyester by many retailers — bearing in mind that over 80% of the world’s raw material used in the production of fashion ends up in landfill. Yet, this is not my main concern… What keeps me up at night is the speed of these systems. Fashion is moving at a breakneck speed, accelerating every season. As opposed to having four, there are basically 52 seasons in the fashion industry calendar; almost a new season every week — new looks and ranges are dropping constantly, almost as fast as we can scroll down our Instagram feed. What is terrifying is that this rush occurs with little reflection, almost no self-awareness or collaborative dialogue. Considering this, sustainability in fashion is critical, but even more important is an entirely new approach, one that brings us to more regenerative and wholesome ways of making. On a personal level, I think we need to queer the entire concept of sustainability in fashion, one that explores more relationship-focused approaches to fashion, where we are less interested in trends and seasons, and more interested in each other’s stories, histories and future.

Q >Surprising contradictions — tell us about things that conflict you and inspire you at the same time.

A >Trends. Naturally trends are exciting and elicit a well of inspiration; however, my relationship to trend driven fashion feels complex. Trends drive the bulk of the fashion industry, and in essence keep it alive, and constantly new. Yet, In the same breath, the speed at which trends determine how quickly we turn-over stock in retail is alarming, and is one of the main reasons that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter and waste generator next to oil. 

I have been deeply inspired by the company Patagonia; they have modelled how to work within the confines of our current political and economic capitalist reality, by firstly slowing down, adopting practices of mending seriously, repurposing, supporting individual creatives, and they have gone beyond just ‘closed loop systems’ by re-imagining what ‘ownership’ is… and what these companies could contribute to, in this dire time. The CEO recently decided that all shares from Patagonia will be used to support climate change efforts. Imagine if all other companies followed them.

Q >What patterns, routines or rituals define or help to shape your life and its rhythms?

A >My day starts with meditation. I find it so important for my process to come into my creativity with an empty and open mind. I enjoy being active, so usually it’s gym or a run or walking our little dog Pearl. It is so important to get energy moving when the day begins. There are other little rituals, like when Dyl (my partner) and I have this 2nd coffee ritual before 12pm. It is carving out moments together in the day. The simple act of spending a few moments every morning having coffee together has become so seminal in finding balance in our work life — even if he is busy, we make this time together, even if it’s just me sitting next to him while he’s on a zoom call — what is important is we can share that time together. 


Cleo Droomer and Pearl


Q >To what extent do external trends influence your designs? How important is it to create pieces that are timeless?

A >I would like to say that I’m not that focused on trends, but global influences and seasonal cuts are important in keeping designers relevant. My idea of implementing trends would be re-purposing pre-loved items by updating their cut or re-inventing them seasonally. Textiles are wonderful, in that they have the ability to be so easily re-purposed, and can take on many different lives. I like to think of this constant textile re-invention as timeless. My dream would be to work with other labels and retailers to imagine how this could be implemented in their approach to updating trends and reworking old stock. 

Central to my practice of making is experimenting in methodologies of mending, that are resonant with philosophical understandings of decoloniality, queering and working with the discards and remnants of the system, and from our lives (such as off-cuts from fashion waste, old heirloom fabrics and/or sentimental objects). I have learned that if we are able to mend, restore and tend to that which has been forgotten, the potential for more timeless (and thus sustainable) garments expands. This leaves you with garments that are living, tactile and filled with memory and meaning — in a nutshell, making timeless garments, or garments that can change and transform over time (through mending) can create an entirely new approach to sustainability.

Q >Tell us which reactions, questions or perception-shifts you hope to achieve with your work?

A >One of the biggest drivers of my work, and what I want to achieve is solidarity building, creating community and places of sanctuary during this complex time. I think in the art of making, and sharing this making and mending work, something else is mended in our relationships. I have grown such insight into the power of building relationships by creating garments that speak to people’s histories, questions, memories, longings, and nostalgias, while at the same time, making things out of the discards of our world. Bringing new life to objects, somehow has an ability to bring hope and understanding to things that are sometimes hard to look at. The other perception shift that I am really interested in is a loving and empathetic attention given to difficult tensions in our life as South Africans; the critical engagement with anti-racist and decolonial work has many approaches and pathways, and I think there is a soft, textured and tactile approach I am aiming for in my work, one that warms up these cold and static spaces in our society. 


LIFE JACKET — Jaket for Ma


Q >Where do you hope to see yourself and your atelier in five years’ time?

A >My surname is Droomer; it means dreamer — when I think of myself, or my atelier I imagine it always being a collaborative space to dream, a place to rethink, re-imagine and shift our practices towards new ways of being and doing fashion. So I think in the next 5 years I see myself dreaming more with others. I am very excited to dream with the thinkers in fashion in applying some of the methods and practices that I have been experimenting in, such as methodologies of mending, repurposing as a form of living in the timeless and offering these insights for reform. In the next five years I hope to see my contribution to fashion being one that celebrates the glamour and magic that has always inspired me, but to see this re-imagined in a slow, tactile, ecological sensitive way — I imagine also leading change labs within industry, and hopefully getting the giants of fashion to work with Droomer to create mending stations, in house studios that repurpose and recreate garments with the public. That would be incredible.

(Life) Jackets by Cleo Droomer surface a conversation with the artist and his grandparents and his slave ancestors. Made from his family’s heirloom fabric, the jackets are a reference to the enslaved people who died crossing the Atlantic and Indian oceans during the 17th century’s slave trade.

LIFE JACKET — Clyde & De-assimilation

Droom Coat — Rust

Droom Coat — Rust (reverse)

Droom Coat — Rust & Stone Kelp

Droom Coat — Denim White Kelp

Droom Coat — Dylan Sashiko

Droom Coat — Sashiko Multi

Droom Coat — Sashiko Multi