Dear Ibu Allies,
Through my background in needlework and clothing fabrication, I have always had an affinity for natural fibers. In 2009, I started dabbling in wool dyeing and felting, and was hooked. In addition to my passion for the process, I saw an opportunity to engage South African women crafting felted products and earning a living wage. Chic Fusion, founded in 2010, is a design and manufacturing studio that creates hand-felted home decor and fashion accessories in 100% wool.
Several years ago, the droughts in the Eastern and Western Cape led to dramatic water bills along with reduced water supplies, which are integral to our daily work for dyeing and wet felting. Looking to prepare for the future, we applied to Ibu for a grant to purchase rainwater tanks which could provide a constant supply for our workshop. The larger tanks allow us to save water for the hot summers and the smaller tanks are ideal for our dyeing process. In addition, Ibu provided funding to improve our workspace, help us increase our staff, and pay a higher wage, which allows our artisans to afford improved living environments and save towards travel to visit their families.
Chic Fusion has experienced considerable growth since the pandemic. Our social enterprise now employs eleven women—most are originally from the Eastern Cape, and in many instances they are the sole breadwinners in the family. They send a portion of their salaries to their parents and even assist siblings and other family members who are jobless.
Ibu has graciously acted to help sustain our growth and success. We are grateful to the Ibu allies who support the Movement—your involvement directly impacts the women of Chic Fusion in Capetown.
Founder and Owner of Chic Fusion