Welcome to The Soweto Sewing Company
In June 2008, the Soweto Sewing Company was formed in Braamfischerville, the government housing area adjacent to Soweto. Unemployment is very high in the area and many homes are without a breadwinner – the five women who pioneered the concept are the sole income earners for their families.
The Soweto Sewing Center was established as a creative, income-generating project to provide its employees with a livelihood and to benefit the broader community. Sponsors from the United States provided most of the initial capital, including two sewing machines and one over-locker.
It soon became clear that the group’s level of workmanship was high, thanks to a couple of the staff having had previous experience in the sewing industry. Since its formation, the group has developed its skills and expanded its range of products. They are constantly on the look-out for fresh ideas and new markets for their goods. They have proved to be competent at translating new ideas into innovative designs.
Products & markets
The Soweto Sewing Company’s product range includes bags for both retail and industrial application, and bibs, aprons and other commodities for use at the 2010 World Cup Soccer event. The group also produces household items such as placemats, tablecloths and coaster sets. Its products make ideal corporate gifts – not only are they attractive and functional items, but they will make a difference in the lives of members of a disadvantaged community.
A South Africa company has undertaken to provide support for the organisation in a number of ways and to assist it in the marketing of its products. The company built and sponsored exhibition stands for the Soweto Sewing Company at Market Johannesburg and Africa’s Big Seven show. Its sponsorship also extends to day-to-day administrative support for the organisation.
Although the community staff still battle to make ends meet, they have come a long way and are working towards a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities.