Made in South Africa: Gifts and souvenirs with so much heart and soul, they’re almost conscious

2017-02-28

Shopping in Cape Town is refreshing for visitors coming from a world where nearly all things have been made in China. Globalisation has squashed originality with brand identities ruling product placement in advertising and retail. It is rare to find products that have been researched, designed and developed locally. Well, now you are in for a surprise. Shopping for gifts and souvenirs here in Cape Town will excite and inspire you. Looking at labels that proudly state made in Cape Town or South Africa will motivate you to go home and share your discoveries along with the stories behind the gift. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired start an initiative of your own?

Cape Town and the Western Cape has a unique creative force that is growing due to the support of local communities communicating and re-inventing the integrity of real craftsmanship. There is a style that emanates from the harshness and beauty of the Karoo, the cramped  tin shack shanty townships. The history, nature and wildlife is living inspiration  to these modern traditional artisans where one common theme is simply the love of Africa.

For those of you that have no room in your luggage I recommend small lightweight items and all are affordable even on the tightest of purse strings, I promise. But you know what’s going to happen, you will fall in love with items that you simply must have and blow the budget.

Original T Bag  Designs – “Something small with a huge heart”

Original T Bag Designs make functional art out of recycled tea bags. Beautiful hand crafted coasters, cards, tea light holders, tableware, stationery  and much more.

Light infusion: candle holders made from tea bags

Light infusion: candle holders made from tea bags

The idea came about in 1990 when Englishwoman Jill  Heyes moved to  the green lush area of Hout Bay (she would have to be English wouldn’t she?).  Jill felt a call to action by the poverty in the shanty town of Imizamo Yethu, the local settlement. She collects used tea bags and asks for you to donate yours after a cuppa.

Inspirational teapot

Inspirational teapot

The craft of decoupage was introduced into the design through a collaboration  with other artists and has become the core of  the hand made quality  products  accessible to both local and international markets today. Jill’s initiative to help the women and men of Imizamo Yethu has created an environment that has gained far more than employment. Her quote from Eleanor Roosevelt resonates from a deep brew “A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water”

Part 2 of our Made in South Africa blogs: Something Light: South African animals take time out from being wild to mess around with with colour, context and unpowered flight

Tea bag coasters: useful for G and T

Tea bag coasters: useful for G and T

For more info and inspiration shop at the Watershed, V & A Waterfront  or Hout Bay.

tbagdesigns.co.za

Good to re-use over and over again: art of the old bag

Good to re-use over and over again: art of the old bag

Part 2 of our made in South Africa post series: Today we put on our monocles and become art critics. Images of wild South African creatures in surprising contexts. The rhino hogs the couch, a new colour palette is applied to the zebra. This way please…

 

This post relates to these neighborhoods: Green Point - close to V&A | V&A Waterfront | Camps Bay | Higgovale | Clifton | De Waterkant | Sea Point - Atlantic Seaboard | Convention Centre - City | Mouille Point - walk to V&A |