Imvelo Estwatini’s range of handmade products include ceramic disc/beaded necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets, mirrors, lutindzi grass African bags, post cards, and grass travel journals.
Profits generated by Imvelo Eswatini are used to sustain Manzini Youth Care’s Social Welfare programme providing residential care, education, vocational training and also meeting emerging needs of over a thousand growing Swazi youth daily.
Imvelo Eswatini’s factory is situated in the Industrial Area of Manzini City, at Likusasa Life Skills Centre. A retail outlet for Imvelo Eswatini is found at Ngewnya Glass factory.
Tourists are welcomed to visit Imvelo Eswatini factory to witness the production process of the handmade jewellery products as well as the weaving of the lutindzi grass bags by the women. While at the factory, the visitors are privileged to purchase the products at factory prices. There is ample parking space for couches and mini buses.
Imvelo Eswatini is a fusion of passion and creativity, tradition and modernity, social commitment and love for Eswatini.
The mission of Imvelo Eswatini is to enhance the lives of women from informal settlements around towns in Eswatini by creating flexible work opportunities and providing a fair and sustainable income. Through an innovative combination of natural materials, traditional skills and contemporary design with inspiration from nature and African Art, the Imvelo women handcraft unique and vibrant fashion accessories for socially inspired individuals; hence the slogan ‘soulful accessories for inspired individuals.’
Today, Imvelo Eswatini is a thriving small enterprise, providing employment to over 25 women who carefully and lovingly craft each accessory by hand. Every woman is trained and supported by this innovative project, which combines contemporary and traditional creative skills. Imvelo Eswatini believes in Fair Trade and the empowerment of their employees and is a member of SWIFT to show their commitment to the Fair Trade practices whilst also hoping to raise awareness amongst their customers.
About 80 percent of Imvelo Eswatini clientele is based overseas. The handcrafted ceramic products and bags are exported to countries such as the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany and Portugal.
All the materials used for creation of Imvelo Eswatini accessories are local, natural and sustainable. These include stoneware clay commonly found near water bodies; indigenous lutindzi grass that grows in abundance in the rocky outcrops of the country; tishweshwe fabric which is traditionally used in Eswatini which is distinctly African fabric that is naturally strong and comes in vibrant colours; and finally batik fabric sourced fngeom Baobab Batik.
For making buttons, pendants, discs that make up Imvelo Eswatini’s beautifully handmade jewelry products, clay is first cut into blocks and then wedged by rubbing and kneading to remove any air bubbles. The clay is then rolled and shaped by hand to create flat pieces for buttons, pendants and earrings. The pieces are then brisk fired at a temperature of between 600-800 degrees Celsius. They are then delicately hand dipped into colourful glazes which bring out the true rarity and identity of each piece. Finally the pieces are then fired to a higher temperature of between 1600-1205 degrees Celsius in modern electric kilns from where they emerge as the vibrant, colourful and soulful Imvelo Eswatini Accessories that tell a story of hope and inspiration.
Creating unique bags through a mixture of woven grass and fabric using the traditional method of plaiting, the Lutindzi grass is crafted into a long rope. It is then woven into mats using traditional weaving methods that have been passed from generation to generation and a source of pride and identity to every Swazi woman. To create our exclusive range of bags, the fabric is sewn around the woven grass. Every piece passes rigorous quality control at each stage guaranteeing the customer a durable and fashionable Imvelo product.
Southern Distributor Road, Likusasa Life Skills Centre