A Cape Town-based jewellery, accessories and womenswear brand
Why we love Pichulik
Not only do we love the beautiful, bold statement accessories that bring a dynamic, where-did-you-get-that element to your outfit, but we respect the way the business is run. Pichulik has 15 full time employees across the brand, only one of which is a man, and also supports micro businesses around Cape Town, including seamstresses who work from home.
One example of the investment in employees is the company’s approach to flexitime and leave: “A number of our team are single mothers, and there may be days they need to go and buy a school uniform or attend a school event, for example.” says owner Katherine-Mary Pichulik. “Staff get up to 17 days leave over and above the government standard, we advocate flexitime across the company no matter your position, and the team can also take their materials and work from home if they need to.”
A Stellenbosch-based brand of homeware and accessories made using 100% cotton rope
Why we love Mia Mélange
Bound to become your stylish everyday staple, we’ve chosen the net bag for its useful yet youthful appeal. We also appreciate that it’s handcrafted by the Mia Mélange team with cotton sourced from local farmers who are members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). The cotton is then spun into yarn in local mills, before being braided into rope in Cape Town.
Owner Jeanneke Malan is committed to empowering and supporting her all-women team and finding more opportunities within the community. In addition to the five full-time employees, Jeanneke assists women who have heard about Mia Mélange through word of mouth and want to work in the evenings to make certain product elements, such as the tassels on the net bags, to supplement their income.
A Cape Town-based fashion, handbag and accessories brand
Why we love ONEOFEACH
What makes these vibrant, hand-made clutch bags so special is that, as the brand’s name suggests, no two are the same. The distinctive patterned fabric is sourced throughout Africa – mostly from Ghana, one of the only African countries still printing their own African-inspired wax prints – and then combined with leather off-cuts from upholstery companies and a tannery in Cape Town.
The all-women team of seven is involved in every element of the business from designing to crafting to retail. “For our retail outlet, we intentionally hire women who have not worked in retail before. We train them with the skills and professionalism to become equipped for the industry,” explains Tamburai Chirume, who began the business with her mother Pauline with the goal of investing in the traditional craft of creating a high-end fashion product made in Africa for the world.
A Cape Town-based brand of handcrafted beaded bra straps
Why we love Bili BraWearWe love how innovation and creativity are combined with heritage and craft in these vibrant “worn to be seen” beaded bra straps. We also love the company’s mission: To build a brighter future for South Africa by creating sustainable jobs and empowering previously disadvantaged women in Wallacedene, an informal settlement in the eastern suburbs of Cape Town. Founded by Lindsay Fisher, the team is made up of eight women crafters, who are skilled in the art of beading, and two men, a tailor and packer.
“We seek to take industry to the townships to eliminate the cost and time of travel, and also allow our crafter mothers to work close to home and their young children,” says Lindsay. Smaller children can also accompany their mums to work, and the bra straps can be taken home to complete. “Education is a cornerstone for the growth of our country. Our mothers are invested in their children’s education, with most of their income going towards feeding their kids and putting them through school.”