WHO WE ARE
The Art of Empowerment
Ethical Shopping + Responsible Giving
Sparrow Society is a Non Profit Company based in Cape Town South Africa. Our aim is to go beyond mere charity by providing the skills training and opportunities for our Creators to earn a livable wage with dignity, and to go from merely surviving to thriving. We strive to create high quality products with ethically sourced materials featuring awesome Afri-Mod designs. Your purchase helps us in our mission to "Change the World One Really Cool Product at a Time".
South Africa has one of the highest Gini Coefficients in the world – meaning we are one of the world’s most economically UNEQUAL societies, leading to a whole host of other issues facing our communities.. We have fabulous wealth and fatal poverty right next to each other. We hope to be a part of the solution to close that economic gap through creating dignifying jobs, adding to skills development and small business support. So with that "why" in mind, Our main goal is to create jobs – fun, creative and fulfilling jobs.
Hear the story of how and why Sparrow Society was started by our Founder, Kate Senekal. CCFM Radio interview with Wayne Turner all about Social Entrepreneurship and some of the challenges that come with it.
Creating high quality products is incredibly important to us, not only to satisfy our customers, but because it fulfills one of our core missions to truly empower, uplift and train our Creators to be their very best. Creating an ethos of EXCELLENCE is paramount to this goal.
We have strict quality control guidelines to make sure all our products look exactly the way they are supposed to. Because we sell online and in largely wholesale capacities, it is very important to us to create our products with a consistency that our customers can trust.
We are a brand that cares. We care that you have deadlines. We care about your time and your investment. We do our very best to ensure that the promises we make are always kept. We go the extra mile to ensure that we are able to fulfill deadlines for orders placed and that a quality product is always delivered.
No more frumpy fair-trade goods that are only bought out of pity. Part of creating dignifying work is to create beautiful products that people actually WANT to buy. We never want anyone to purchase our goods out of pity for our creators, but because they value the craftmanship that went into making it.
Sustainable economic empowerment is one of the keys to a flourishing future for any country. To empower someone with the means to provide for their family has much further reaching impact that merely putting food on the table. A hand up is better than a hand out. It may take a bit longer, but it has a much longer lasting impact and that’s why we are here for the long haul.
Sparrow Society very proudly follows standardized Fair Trade Principles. So many of the clothes, accessories and gadgets we buy are made in sweatshops with no way for us to check up on fair labour practices. Often companies will prioritize their profit margins over the safety and dignity of the people actually making their products. Our company was built for the people, not the products, so we make sure to pay our amazing creators the wages they deserve and offer business support for those wanting to move on and start their own brands and companies. But we don’t stop there- often, the materials in “local” products get overlooked, but we wanted every piece of our products to be considered. For this reason we are committed to sourcing ethical materials and have gone through extensive lengths to make sure that we source our materials from reputable and local companies wherever possible.
Many of our Creators come to us with very little skill and even less experience. We train in basic employable skills as well as provide a structured environment within which our Creators learn the importance of quality, consistency and doing everything with excellence. We also upskill in sewing, textile printing methods and various other creative and admin tasks.
We also run a more intensive Creative Business Skills Course for those within our organization that want to learn what it takes to run their own business some day. This course goes in depth into Tax and Registration, Branding Identity and Marketing, Product Development and Pricing.
In addition to our Creative Business Course for our Creators to take the next step for their futures into entrepreneurship, we come alongside other creators who have a particular creative skill or product line that they offer. We assist with product development to get their product to standards to sell in traditional marketplaces and even ready for exporting.
Our Main Studio in Muizenberg, South Africa is home to our main production. This is where all the product development and mentorship happens with hand-selected creatives.
They are the heart and soul of Sparrow Society and carry our mission forward with passion and purpose.
Through our Creative Business Course we have been able to help many women start their own small business, sewing from their homes. This gives them added flexibility and empowers them to take charge of their futures. We hire them as Independent Contractors to help us with our larger orders to help keep their businesses sustainable.
We also partner with existing Skills Development training centers to upskill their seamstresses. We partner with a workshop in Gugulethu that trains and employs people with disabilities. These partner workshops are also then contracted to assist with our production in order to assist them with sustainable work.