I am proud to say that Zulucow is a socially-conscious brand; producing beautiful natural leather and cowhide pieces which are all ethically sourced. Each and every Zulucow bag, belt, cushion, pouch, keyring and tassel, is finely crafted by hand from sustainably-sourced cowhide; in so doing, helping to create long term, well paid, sustainable jobs for a small team of Zulu ladies in rural South Africa.
I’ve worked with Ma Phillipine, Nelly, Thandi, Gloria, Lindiwe and the rest of the team, for about 7/8 years now and often go out to see them. On my last visit, Lindiwe invited me to the home she built with her brother and introduced me to her 4 children.
Lindiwe, who used to work on a farm, came to the workshop 5 years ago. There, Linell and Gloria’s mother taught her how to sew; valuable skills which she and the other Zulu ladies are continually developing. In a country with few job opportunities; these skills are empowering these women, (who are often sole providers, with absent husbands) enabling them to support large, extended families who rely on them. Lindiwe is an instrumental part of the team, responsible for finely crafting Zulucow’s, ethically-sourced, cowhide Cushions, Belts, Bags, and accessories. Five days a week, she leaves home at 6am to be at work by 7.30am. She only returns home at 6pm. At the weekend she works with her brother Sizwe, building houses!
Life in Africa is tough. There are no safety nets when one can’t find a job. Unemployment has risen well above 50% and inflation is spiralling. With rising food, electricity, transport costs; Lindiwe’s reliable, long term, income from the workshop where she makes Zulucow’s pieces, is critical for her and her extended family’s survival. Your Zulucow orders are crucial to help sustain her and the other Zulu ladies’ jobs; so thank you!
Sizwe, Lindiwe’s brother, also works at the workshop. He’s the main cutter (of the cowhide leather products.) A talented builder; he and Lindiwe work on building projects at the weekend. (He lives in the same rural village as his sister; with his wife and 2 year old son.)