15 Jul 10 South African Brands Doing Great Things for Community Empowerment
We are so proud of the many amazing South African brands we have available at Faithful to Nature. Each and every local company contributes towards the prosperity of our beautiful rainbow nation. Some have an extra special heart for social caring and upliftment though and it here that the love becomes palpable. Here are 10 companies that are making a real difference at the grassroots level with meaningful community empowerment.
Oh-Lief is a local family business founded in 2010 to bring South African families a gentle, natural range of baby skincare products that is ethically produced and earth-friendly. Ingredients are 100% natural, raw and organic. Their Baby Gift Box comes with a Greenpop tree certificate to cut out and keep. Each gift certificate means that a tree will be planted and comes with a GPS coordinate of where it will be located. Oh Lief donate 16 – 20 trees a month to Greenpop.
Eco Products source Baobab fruit directly from local rural communities, and this provides them with economic support. The fruit is sustainably harvested from wild growing trees by local women using best-practice forestry techniques, with no damage to the baobab trees. 30% of the harvest goes back to the community for consumption so that means they also benefit from the nourishment of the harvest.
All of their partners are members of PhytoTrade Africa. Phytotrade’s purpose is to alleviate poverty and protect biodiversity by developing an industry that is not only economically successful but also ethical and sustainable.
Earthbound wines are wines with soul that represent the value of the land. They are SGS Organic and Fairtrade certified, which means that the workers get a fair part of the profits for their work, and you get a bottle of nectar of the vines that’s pesticide-free and grown in harmony with nature.
All the families on the farm have their own homes and for every ton of grapes harvested a premium is paid to the farm workers. They get to decide what to spend this on – from schooling to computers, to a reaction center. Earthbound are also part of the Biodiversity Wine initiative to rehabilitate land on wine farms to its indigenous habitat.
O’live has a passion for local, ethically sourced and sustainable ingredients that are totally natural and where possible tries to forge mutually empowering and beneficial relationships with local farmers. They only started using the creamy luxury of palm oil in their products once they had found an eco-friendly source in West Africa, harvested and processed by empowered women. They also support a job creation initiative in Khayelitsha for women who crochet beautiful luxury products such as slippers and washcloths.
Sexy Socks is Fashion with a conscience that starts at your ankles. It’s all about warming cold toes. Their aim is to provide every child in South Africa with a pair of socks to wear to school. For every pair of Sexy Socks you buy, the company donates a free pair of school socks to a child in one of South Africa’s poorest township schools. These super comfy, antibacterial socks are local: designed, sourced and manufactured in Cape Town.
WakaWaka is a Swahili saying that means “shine bright”. WakaWaka are agents of light and they are here to share the energy of the sun with their handy little solar chargers. When you buy a WakaWaka, one is also sent to someone living through a humanitarian crisis, whether it be earthquakes, war or strife. WakaWaka is committed to helping those in remote and rural communities to find safe, sustainable and affordable alternatives to kerosene and candles.
With Love is a proudly South African company with plenty of heart. Bringing you a range of unique, handcrafted products made with natural and organic ingredients, With Love source their precious beeswax directly from local beekeepers and each of their products sold donates a portion to an upliftment program. Last year they created 150 stationary packs for preschoolers in Massi and Ocean View.
I Scream & Red is a local planet-friendly company that teaches people with disabilities from disadvantaged communities how to design and make bags using upcycled materials such as seatbelts, flags and rejected materials. They use locally sourced materials to upcycle and combine these with green-endorsed organic cotton to create fresh, trendy bags with an urban edge.
Many I Scream & Red workers are wheelchair-bound and this community project enables them to work in a comfortable environment at home without having to travel. They support local township artists such as Mbongeni Fongoqa who add a local flair and vibrancy to their handmade bags, made with 100% love.
Toy Project aims to improve the lives of previously unemployed women one darn stitch at a time! Their quirky and fun toys are all made entirely by hand for unique and lovable soft toy creations made with colourful local Shweshwe material. The project aims to provide previously unemployed women with a steady income and teach new skills that will grow and evolve into the future with common goals and shared resources. They started out in Groenfontein Valley outside Calitzdorp and have already branched out to a satellite co-op in Wittedrift outside Plettenberg Bay as their popularity created a need for a second workshop. They are 100% self-funded and their goal is to empower more than just charity, but rather a workable model for self-sustainability. The beautiful picture featured above is from their love-filled workshop.
Lavender in Lavender Hill brings you gorgeous natural lavender-based body and home products, with a social conscience. The company is committed to creating employment opportunities in the Cape Town community of Lavender Hill. The brand encompasses soap making, a sewing company, catering, and herb and tea production too. Lavender in Lavender Hill works in partnership with the New World Foundation to support and uplift the people of Lavender Hill. 15% of the company’s net profit goes back to the local community, funding education sessions and business opportunity creation. Community workshops are given at the New World Foundation, teaching about the uses of the lavender plant and how to plant and maintain it.