Once a year, a design orientated and ethically conscious crowd gathers in Zambia’s capital city Lusaka. They come to appreciate Zambia’s designers, makers, creators and artists. Here’s a selection of those brands and their delightful stories.
Made from the physical strength and dedication of 7 women who breathe life into your jewellery and their community. Naomi. Kate. Grace. Clera. Edinas. Mirriam. Sarah. Together they turn locally sourced material into jewellery — including snare wire collected by anti-poaching patrols.
Often made from steel, snare wire is hard to mould into anything beautiful. Their wooden beads are hand carved from reclaimed wood. Vintage coins are collected from Zambian markets. Every piece of jewellery is painstakingly put together and every piece of jewellery sold results in a donation to anti-poaching and anti-snare patrols in Zambia. In fact, $85,000 has been raised so far!
Key information — Best of Zambia profile and shop, Website, Facebook, Instagram
“What’s not to fall in love with gems? They are gods of beauty, they have positive energy, and their spectra of colours are endless. That’s why they are my first true love!” Rashmi Sharma, Head Gemologist FGA, GIA, MBA
Zambia’s precious stones are earths gift. Jewel of Africa’s gift to jewellery lovers across the world is high end jewellery with proof of provenance. Rough gemstones are responsibly sourced from small artisan miners through to some of the largest emerald miners in the world.
These breathtaking gems are cut in-house by expert Zambian lapidarists. A high level of craftsmanship and integrity goes hand in hand to create treasured masterpieces.
Key information — Best of Zambia profile and shop, Website, Facebook, Instagram. Find Jewel of Africa shops at:
Against the backdrop of Victoria Falls, 9 women with no formal education and (once) little chance of employment, have been trained to handcraft bespoke quality leather goods, with a social impact. Euniva. Mercy. Sandra. Susan. Erica. Angela. Bupe. Prisca. Modester. Your purchase has power. To empower women is too empower the community, and their whole extended family — today, Wayawaya’s extended family supports 26 children.
Wayawaya is part of the slow fashion movement. Slow fashion is about consuming and creating fashion consciously and with integrity. Leather, fabric, buckles, thread, everything is carefully selected for quality and impact — everything is sourced as close to home as possible. Everyone involved is respected and treated fairly. Through vocational training, skills development and viable job opportunities Wayawaya supports Zambian women in reaching their full potential.
Key information — Best of Zambia profile and shop, Website, Instagram and the Wayawaya Workshop, Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone (the yellow building opposite Protea Hotel)
An authentic collection of stylish hand crafted items sourced from craft people across Zambia and beyond. We’re talking, bead work, fashion, footwear, interiors, and gifts. This Lusaka shop is a gifts and crafts store founded on the love for the beauty in African ingenuity.
Key information — Best of Zambia profile and shop, Facebook, Instagram, shop on 18 Lagos Road, Rhodespark, Lusaka.
KAI Active is a lifestyle and fitness apparel label that caters to active individuals. The brand is more than simply working out in great clothing — it’s about persevering and continually pushing yourself to do more. They believe working out shouldn’t be uncomfortable — you should feel at ease and confident in your clothes while pushing yourself to do more physically.
“When customers tell us that their KAI t-shirt or shorts are their favourite clothes in their closet we know we’re on the right track! This keeps us motivated keep focused on making our customers happy. We enjoy seeing people learning about KAI for the first time — from walking around the store, to feeling the material, trying something on… It’s amazing to see people light up and start to believe in the clothes and the brand.” Amy Tiwari, Co-Founder
KAI is a uniquely customer-oriented company — the team have listened to customer feedback about the clothing and what they’re looking for in their fitness journeys. Comments on fit, colours, material, everything... have all been taken into the design process when creating new lines. Customers are driving the evolution of the KAI Active brand.
Key information — Best of Zambia profile and shop, website, Facebook, Instagram. Try on and buy products at:
Back in 1980 Joyce Mibenge, a trained secretary and teacher also has a passion for fashion. Whilst in Canada she got herself a diploma in professional sewing and on her return to Zambia, she set up African Joy (formerly Chims Fashions). Now working with her three daughters, African Joy employs five tailors, two bead workers and three other staff.
African Joy design, craft and source clothing, accessories, home interiors and basketry for individuals looking for items with an African flavour — bright colours, wonderfully rustic and with a trickle down effect, making an impact on the lives of those that make their range.
Key information — Facebook
A range of contemporary, handmade, fairly traded and environmentally sensitive wooden products manufactured in Zambia, by Zambians. With a passion for supporting local trade, Kubu Crafts also stocks traditional Zambian handcrafts with the aim of providing work for Zambian artisans and creating a stronger presence for their crafts on the global marketplace.
Started by Lucy Renew and Roelf Bosman in 1997, it began in a tiny workshop, with 3 carpenters and 2 finishers using tools inherited from Lucy’s father’s extensive home woodwork workshop! Today, Kubu Crafts has 3 stores, a modern workshop, sophisticated wood working tools and an advanced training programme equipping local Zambians with the skills they need to be employed by Kubu Crafts.
The Kubu Crafts team work with indigenous teak and rosewood, sourced from environmentally responsible and licensed lumber suppliers in the Southern Province of Zambia. The teak and rosewood is cut and dried in solar kilns by Kubu Crafts themselves.
Key information— Best of Zambia profile and shop, website, Facebook. You can buy products at Kubu Crafts stores at:
“All our clay is 100% Zambian, from the clay we source locally, to the potters who make them, to the designs we put on them. Fabrics are sourced from Thailand, India and Tanzania, before being stamped with Zambian bees wax, and dyed in our workshop in New Kasama. We are proud to have successfully packaged and shipped our products all over the world for 20 years!” Franca Namwiinga Murru, Pottery Designer
Afrikolor Batiks started with fabrics 28 years ago and evolved with the pottery. Founder and master behind the fabrics is Josephine Murru. Distinctive pottery became part of Afrikolor when Franca Namwiinga Murru joined the family business. Giovanna Murru plays the important role of support system behind these two creative minds.
Every item is lovingly thought out, planned, hand made and sold to someone who will cherish owning a piece of art that is visually pleasing and functional in daily life. The Afikolor Batiks team are socially and ecologically conscious, always aiming to use Zambian resources and crafts people to create a brand that can proudly stand in any international retail environment.
Key information — Best of Zambia profile and shop
Hailing from Zimbabwe, Patches Galore designs clothes for women, children and their homes from Ankara fabrics. Bold, beautiful, glorious patches , put together by a team of creatives in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Ironically, Patches Galore started in 1995 when Charlotte lost her job because her husband got a job transfer from the capital city Harare to the small town of Gweru. So, Founder, Charlotte Chigwedere started sewing on her domestic sewing machine…
With growing demand she got funding for more sewing equipment, trained a young boy just out of school and was soon employing 20 women! In 2014 she attended a Business Women’s Training Programme in Entrepreneurship run by the Branson Centre and PROWEB, thus equipping her to explore regional and international markets like Zambia and beyond. Today you can get your own patch of glory at ZADS and the Patches Galore shop in Lusaka.
Key information — ZADS Tent tbc, Facebook, Instagram, and shop no. 43, Woodlands Stadium, Lusaka
We remember those who have died, where we have come from and to do for others. Chikumbuso reach out to widows, orphans, at-risk youth, and grandmothers.
Buying their hand made products help them provide free schooling for children, adult training and capacity building, income generating activities and community building programs.
Key information — Best of Zambia profile, Website, Facebook
“We create naturally-leavened sourdough bread from different sourdough cultures, which we collect and nurture from all over the world. Each of our loaves are made by hand with patience and dedication. These are nutritious, delicious and beautiful breads, made with locally milled flours, using old European methods of wild yeast fermentation and lots of time.” Stefanie Elischer, Founder
Stef believes that real bread is made from flour, water, salt and nothing else. She and her two bakers, bake as it was done in the old days, when people were not suffering from all kind of intolerance’s caused by industrial supplements. The process of slow fermentation gives the characteristic full-flavoured sourdough taste with an excellent crusty crumb.
Sustainability, health and responsibility from seed to a finished loaf of bread are key. Stef’s Sourdough Basket is a contribution to a healthier lifestyle and to bringing joy into our eating habits.
Stef is self taught, from the large and excellent community of champion bakers on the internet, books and bread making workshops. She started her small artisan bakery in 2015, creating sourdough bread recipes, trying them out, making adjustments and training her two bakers, Christine and Dorica.
Often asked for traditional German Christmas treats, Stef now creates Christmas Stollen — a fruit bread of nuts and spices, and Lebkuchen’ — spicy cookies from gingerbread, some covered with dark Belgium chocolate….
Key information — Best of Zambia profile and shop, Website You can also buy Stef’s bread at the following outlets, freshly delivered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday:
“Available in Zambia, South Africa and Russia, Essential Skincare is born out of our love for Africa, its nature and the desire to create skincare products that, without harming us or the environment, deliver maximum benefits to our skin through the careful blend of pure, natural and beautiful African plant extracts.” Paola Dal Bosco, Founder
Essential products contain only the purest natural (99.4–100%) and organic ingredients (some over 90%). There is no trace of silicons, mineral oils, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, SLS or harsh surfactants, PEGs, TEA, DEA, nor any controversial preservatives present.
Paola’s interest in skincare products began at the tender age of 13. When she started to read the labels and formulations, she realised how common bad chemicals are in commercial skincare products — even in the ones that describe themselves as “natural”. Later on in life, her hobby in handmade skincare turned into quite the commercial endeavour, bringing truly natural skincare to people that truly care about their skin and the impact of their purchases.
Essential Skincare is an accredited partner of PhytoTrade Africa who are dedicated to the development of fair trade and environmentally sustainable natural products. Indigenous plants are sustainably harvested from the wild by communities and then processed into high-end active ingredients, therefore providing support to poor rural communities and helping to preserve the biodiversity of Zambia and Southern Africa. The equitable trade in natural products has raised the standard of living of tens of thousands of people. Through buying PhytoTrade Africa’s ingredients, Essential Skincare products support women to send their kids to school, get access to healthcare, invest in local credit schemes or even build a house.
Key information — Best of Zambia profile and shop, Website, Facebook and also stocked at: