A donation of 12 000 counterfeit jeans, originally marked to be destroyed was donated to Catholic Welfare and Development (CWD) by Adams Adams lawyers in 2007. This once-off donation would lay the foundation for a sewing project that would ensure that our communities were sufficiently clothed, especially during the cold Cape Town Winter months.
CWD saw in this donation a greater opportunity – the launch of a self sustaining sewing project. So they removed the labels of these counterfeit denims and re-labelled it: BRAND NEW - It was the birth of a new label and the birth of a project which attracted much skill.
The Brand New Project was started in 2007 under the umbrella of the Economic Development Programme and is a unique initiative that provides vulnerable and unemployed women with sustainable income generation and skills training opportunities by utilizing donated merchandise and purchasing their own haberdashery to produce, debrand and re-brand them to different styles before they are sold to the public and retailers.
Brand New has also branched out into using fabrics from across Africa. Making use of indigenous fabrics like shweshwe.
One can see the theme and
the commitment to the continent through our designs, trying not only to keep up with the demands of the communities we serve, but also trying to penetrate a market that is hungry for African cultures and traditions.
As part of the CWD we are committed to the values of the organisation; Integrity, Professionalism, Organizational pride, Accountability, Respect, Passion, Harmony, Creativity, Learning and Collaboration. In the future, Brand New aims to: expand and take the Brand New project to a new level in creating a qualified CMT (Cut, Make & Trim); have a few outlets where our products will be displayed and represented on the crafts market in order to promote our work and generate more income; work in line with South Africa’s communities to address the needs of various population groups in improving their socioeconomic situation through programs that train, nurture and empower individuals to gain employment opportunities within the sewing and crafts sector, these will enable them to find a job, start or enhance their own businesses.
At present the Brand New project is making a huge difference in the lives of unemployed youth and women in particular.
Also, registering our craft products to the Cape Town Craft Institute database will assist in boosting the project's business and generating more income. Hence, we will be able to employ more staff within the project and showcase the good work done by CWD in people’s lives.