June 22 2011
With an all-African production process, Yodit Eklund, founder of swimwear brand Bantu, is generating employment opportunities in some of Africa’s poorest regions. For the past three years she’s been working with 48 artisans in Cameroon and Ethiopia to create tribal-print bikinis and kaftans, and this season’s projects – the launch of a men’s swimwear line and an online store to grow the brand’s global reach – have meant further expansion in Ethiopia. “We’ve helped the workshop employ another 500 people,” Eklund said.
This month, Bantu has teamed up with Palama Metsi, the Muizenberg beach surfing school that offers free surfing lessons to abused, orphaned and homeless children, to design a series of one-off surfboards – all of which will be auctioned over the coming two weeks to benefit the academy.