The Zulu people have long been associated with their skill and artistry in fashioning baskets from the native plants and grasses of their homeland. The original idea for the telephone wire baskets reportedly came from security workers on the graveyard shift in South African factories, who would often wind and weave the brightly colored telephone wire around their nightsticks. Now, over 650 full time weavers and their families in rural areas are supported with a fair living wage from their amazing creations.
Brass Images was established in 1988 in the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. The long lasting success of the project is due to the fact that the group develops new designs on a regular basis. Solid Brass and copper are the base materials of the product. The artisans apply extreme heat to create the interesting patterns and effects on the jewelry. Each item is entirely handmade, with no dyes and each piece is always one of a kind! Brass Images employs people from the local community to help create the high quality jewelry. As the demand grows, the organization hires and trains more artisans, providing sustainable income in an area in need of employment.
Turqle Trading is committed to creating jobs in a country with astounding rates of unemployment: 60% of black women in South Africa and half of the nation's youth are unable to find jobs. This means many families lack sufficient income to provide themselves with food, shelter, and education for their children. Not only does Turqle Trading provide employment for nearly 500 South Africans, but it encourages them to develop their skills and knowledge through various educational classes such as health care and personal budgeting. These classes enable the employees to better plan for the future of their families and to prepare for unexpected expenses.