If you’re a regular Faithful to Nature online shopper, you might have already noticed our new range of lovely lavender goodies, locally made by a company called Lavender in Lavender Hill. These pretty lavender products are designed to make you feel naturally pampered and loved; but did you know they’re also part of an extensive local community upliftment initiative?

Each one of these fab products has been created with the aim of empowering and uplifting the people of Cape Town’s impoverished Lavender Hill community. The Lavender Hill neighbourhood faces problems such as gang violence, drug use, crime and unemployment. These issues drew the attention of Lavender in Lavender Hill CEO Marcelle van Zyl, while she was managing a non-profit organisation in the area. She began thinking of ways to help ease the struggles of all the good people in this community, and Lavender in Lavender Hill was born.

Products are created by local community members, community groups and small businesses, providing them with income and creating more opportunities for employment. 15% of the company’s net profit is ploughed back into the community of Lavender Hill, through initiatives like education sessions and opportunity creation.


Education Sessions

Community members learn about the uses of the lavender plant, and how it can be used as a herb, as a natural remedy or as part of a natural beauty product. They are taught how to plant, cultivate and care for lavender, so that they can grow numerous plants of their own. They also receive lavender plants and handy information booklets. These sessions aim to help Lavender Hill residents to do the following:

  • Develop the skills needed to cultivate lavender plants & create lavender products for profit
  • Experience the responsibility of growing, watering and caring for plants
  • Beautify their environment and take pride in their surroundings

Opportunity Creation

Local residents earn an income through product creation and shop franchises. Here are some examples of the hardworking people who have benefitted from the opportunities created by Lavender in Lavender Hill:

  • The beautiful Lavender Hill dried lavender sachets and relaxing eye masks are created by Shamila, who runs a small sewing company.
  • Janap does catering jobs from her kitchen, where she produces yummy lavender biscuits.
  • Lavender Hill soap is created by the Hope Soap team; three ladies from previously disadvantaged circumstances run their small soap-making company in a local church kitchen.
  • Franchise shops are given to people like Cherylene, who show entrepreneurial potential and a real drive to become self-sustaining.  Cherylene is now the owner and manager of two Lavender in Lavender Hill shops; one in Hout Bay and one at the Waterfront. She’s even starting to hire people to work for her.
cherylene-lavender-shop

Cherylene at her new Lavender in Lavender Hill shop

 

hope-soap-team

The Hope Soap team at work

Take a look at our beautiful Lavender in Lavender Hill selection online; the products are made with real lavender flowers and leaves, so you can enjoy all the healing and relaxing benefits of this remarkable herb.


Even though Lavender in Lavender Hill is still small, I hope it will grow greatly and make a great impact in the world. The best part of running this social enterprise is the joy it gives to people. After a large biscuit order our community biscuit supplier said to me, “Marcelle, now I can buy shoes for my children”.It feels wonderful to deposit R1500 at a time into our other community suppliers’ bank accounts after placing orders for their hard work in creating products. It might not seem a lot to everyone, but to people who have little it is a huge amount. I love that our products are social but of high quality too and hope to grow sales far and wide.

– Marcelle van Zyl

Find out more about Lavender in Lavender Hill’s social enterprises here.