Elise, a former Parisian now living in South Africa, and Rudi, born and bred in Cape Town, join forces on a daily basis to develop the brand and bring the ethical and local vision they have for the project to life.
Elise is passionate about African colours and tries to capture them in the bags’ designs. She is the overall coordinator for the project. Rudi lends his knowledge of the local business environment and laws to the project.
As for the production, this is carried out by a small network of craftsmen, NGOs and small and medium sized businesses.
WHY THE NAME?
Up until 2016, there was a gigantic piece of graffiti displaying ‘We All Share Roots’ within the District Six area of Cape Town – a district which is quite symbolic of the injustices suffered during Apartheid. Produced by the Boa Mistura collective, it served to remind us that we all have the same roots, roots which lead us back to Africa. Against a backdrop of racial tension, attacks and political divisions, this message seemed like a Eureka moment for us, it just had to be a part of the adventure.
WHAT OUR BAGS ARE ABOUT:
The warm colours of African fabrics: wax, shweshwe, kente Chic and easy-to-wear designs Responsible and ethical fashion The passion of a small, dynamic, French-South African company.
Unique and trendy fashion pieces for mindful people.
Manufactured in Cape Town, South Africa, the bags are handmade, in limited editions. All the materials used to make them are carefully chosen and aim to bring out the colours and patterns of traditional African fabrics.
Ethical commitment and local production:
Promotion of local resources
Small-scaled production process
Long-term partnerships with family-owned SMEs, handcrafters and seamstresses in precarious situations
Individual and personal relationship with each of our suppliers
Support of local employment and skills development in a country where 1 in 4 people is unemployed
Social and societal commitment:
Placing human being at the core of our brand
Research of suppliers out of the mainstream
Active involvement in the construction of a self-sufficient workshop for our seamstresses from townships
Slow fashion principles (responsible production mode, no unsold pieces, use of offcuts, etc.)
Limited and responsible use of advertising, lack of “artificial” sale incentive (Mother’s day, Valentine’s day, etc.)
Support of Matharie Sanitary Pads Project association (against absenteeism and de-schooling of young women in poor rural areas)
Development of a 100% vegan range
Investment into a new and vibrant material for the future, Piñatex® (natural leather alternative made from pineapple leaves fibres)
Use of offcuts
Choice of quality and long-lasting materials (leather, wood, cotton, etc.)
Printing on recycled paper
Love for Africa:
Placing Africa and its know-how into the spotlight
Changing people’s perception of this amazing continent
Working on the traceability of all our fabrics in Africa