Meet Team South Africa, a cooperative of 80 women artisans living in some of the most vulnerable communities in South Africa. Team South Africa is dedicated to promoting equality and unity in South Africa, a country with high levels of economic inequality and social marginalization. Team South Africa partners with independent skills-building organizations and local resource suppliers to provide many kinds of job opportunities for women in marginalized communities. By empowering women through skills building and economic opportunity, Team South Africa works to combat inequality and promote social unity throughout the country.
We support Team South Africa by helping them employ more women, earn higher wages and reach new customers.
We commit to long term, reliable trade agreements that allow cooperatives to hire more women and make proactive business decisions. Team South Africa can count on us to place continuous orders at consistent prices, and that trust results in more jobs and more job security for women.
Currently, there is no national minimum wage in South Africa, although a new minimum wage law may take effect in 2018. The median income of South African workers is about $10 USD per day, which is slightly below the poverty line. However, due to institutional inequality that remains from the Apartheid era, most black South Africans make far less than $10 per day and experience higher levels of poverty. Fair Anita ensures fair payment and livable wages for artisans, paying Team South Africa well above the average income of marginalized workers.
Team South Africa goes above and beyond to find local and sustainable materials for their products. The recycled leather used in the Fight for What’s Right Bracelet is a great example of this commitment. Recycled leather is made by shredding and compressing scraps of leather into smooth, sturdy material. Women artisans transform recycled leather into bracelets by cutting and screen-printing the material into double-wrap bracelets with inspiring messages. The Fight for What’s Right Bracelet features a quote from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s concession speech: “Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” No matter what your politics, this quote is a great reminder to carry with you each day as you fight for what's right!
Thembisa is a 58-year-old mother of 3, living KwaZulu-Natal in the eastern part of South Africa. As a woman living with AIDS, she was unable to find employment for much of her life, meaning her family has fallen into a deep cycle of poverty. Thembisa is now a part of this artisan group, where she is able to use her talents of jewelry-making to earn income to support her family. While many members struggle with TB, HIV/AIDS, and poverty-related issues, the sales of these products allow these women to have a dignified job and provide hope for the future.