All Zulucow's cowhide rugs are a by-product of the food industry and sustainably sourced. Zulu herdsman with his Nguni cattle.

Sustainability

Zulucow’s unique, high quality, cowhide rugs are derived from South Africa’s indigenous Nguni cattle.

For centuries these beautiful cattle have been bred primarily as a source of protein, but the Zulus have also bred them for their beautiful colouring and dramatic markings for amongst other things: ceremonial clothing. Nothing in South Africa goes to waste; the hides are a natural by-product of the meat industry.

The Nguni are part of a rich Zulu culture; with their hides not only being used for shields, ceremonial clothing and rugs, but they are also celebrated in the Zulu’s poetry and storytelling . The hides’ beauty is valued to such an extent that the Zulus have named them according to their natural surroundings. For example, they name a hide which is mainly white with black flecks: ‘Inasenezimbukane’ (flies in butter) and another hide resembling skylark eggs, they call: ‘imaqandakahuye’ “The eggs of the sky lark”.

Today the Zulus are deriving skills and a sustainable income from the Nguni, as a result of jobs created not only in crafting Zulucow’s bags, belts, cushions, but also in tanning.  I select each hide individually and we are careful that nothing goes to waste. Off-cuts are used for door-stops, key rings, purses and smaller items. With an increased concern for the sustainability and provenance of what we buy, I’m proud to say that Zulucow’s range is made from by-products of a traditional food industry in South Africa.

One of the core brand values of Zulucow; is that all our cowhide rugs and cowhide products are sustainable, made to last and don’t impact the environment.