With very few exceptions we use shweshwe for all our clothes, specifically Three Cats Original Shweshwe, which is designed and manufactured in South Africa by Da Gama Textiles.
We were lucky to be able to visit the factory to see exactly how it's made, which was a dream come true for the one of us who's obsessed with those 'How It's Made' documentaries.
What starts out as metres and metres of cotton thread is woven, dyed and printed all under one roof, and the end result is bolts of gorgeous, eye-poppingly colourful fabric. Seeing it all together brings to mind an old fashioned sweet shop, with the attendant impulse to grab it all.
Da Gama Textiles is South African owned and run and is an important employer in the Eastern Cape - a breathtakingly beautiful and devastatingly poor region.
We're proud to use their beautiful fabric, and cannot wait to see it brighten up London's streets.
Our clothes are made by The Sewing Cafe, which is based in Masiphumelele, near Cape Town. It is a terrific training organisation that support its free community courses with income from their garment producing factory/CMT.
Courses aim to equip unemployed and unskilled members of the community with the skills necessary to join the job market or start a small business.
The Sewing Cafe works closely with people from the disadvantaged communities of Masiphumelele and Ocean View, which are very poor, under-resourced and struggle with a high rate of unemployment.
Through our work with them, we hope to contribute as much as possible to the growth and development of these vibrant communities and the people who live there.