What does it mean to be a local brand in South Africa?
By general consensus, local brands should:
source their materials/ingredients/suppliers in South Africa (as far as reasonably possible)
manufacture/produce their products in South Africa
support or employ fellow South Africans
in the case of a store or an online boutique, they supply products produced by these brands
As South Africa has limited resources in terms of textiles, materials and ingredients, the quality of products produced may require that certain components be imported in order to maintain high standards and keep production cost effective.
In addition to this, the high costs involved with purchasing large quantities of things such as fabric straight from a mill or printing large rolls of a specific design can also make it unfeasible to source locally.
The inevitable result of the above is that even the local brands that want to support local suppliers in every way possible are sometimes left with no choice but to purchase or import from international suppliers.
For the above reasons, all brands on the directory who are over 80% local in terms of production/manufacture/materials/ingredients/merchandise are recognised as LOCAL.
LOCALLY FEMALE OWNED/RUN
Why is it important to support woman run businesses?
As with most things on this directory, I tend to approach things in a very personal way.
Coming from a divorced family, I was brought up by a mom that taught me the importance of being a financially independent woman. Financial independence has the ability to free you from circumstances that could otherwise make you feel trapped. It is one of the cornerstones of gender equality.
In discussing the role of women in business, it was our president himself, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, who stated that:
"When we empower women in our society, what we are in effect doing, is to raise incomes and standards of living, alleviate poverty and build more stable communities. By unleashing the economic potential of women, we are unleashing the potential of our economies to grow and benefit all.
Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees or by doing unpaid care work at home. We need to ensure that they realise the full benefit of their contributions."
For me, woman empowerment is important on both a personal and socially conscious level.
But how can small female run businesses feature in a LOCAL brand directory, when by definition they don't support the term "local brand" as defined above?
These brands, run locally, form an important part of the small local business community. After discussions with the founders it is clear that local support extends well beyond just the products that they sell.
The female owned brands featured on my Directory have all supported local businesses, brands and communities through various means, such as:
SA "Miele Mailers" - compostable courier bags
a multitude of local courier services
small local website/IT businesses
printing, stationery and packaging resources from local suppliers
photographers, models, makeup artists
South African people - employment
other local small businesses - eg. embroidery, labels
For the above reasons, all brands on the directory who are founded or run logistically by females, AND who have > 60% female employment in house (if applicable) are recognised as LOCALLY FEMALE RUN, and are listed on my Local Brand Directory for their contribution towards our local small business community, despite not manufacturing product locally.