About the Indalo Project
“Excellent design defines our world: each time we breathe, we experience the beauty of sophisticated, living design. What greater gratitude can we show than to strive for excellence in what we create and use this to bring about positive change in our communities?”
Born from a desire to build a pioneering social enterprise, the Indalo Project is a unique South African design and marketing intervention with a bottom-up approach to business and creative development. The isiXhosa word ‘Indalo’ translates as ‘creation’ or ‘nature’ and captures the essence of this remarkable initiative.
Indalo is a non-profit entity with a mandate to change lives through original and sophisticated design. Our partnership model connects professional designers and a seasoned marketing team with local craft producers to drive the innovation and sales of cutting edge handcrafted ranges. We believe that extraordinary products can be created when accomplished, market-driven designers join forces with skilled craft artists. As new product ranges are completed, Indalo not only supports partner organisations in direct sales, but also in building trade relationships and developing focused and proactive marketing strategies.
At Indalo, we are passionate about empowering people within organisations and encouraging individuals to contribute to collective capacity and opportunity. Our partners employ divergent business models, but share the objectives of responsible, sustainable development and collaboration - a powerful network of smaller producers working towards greater economic and social return. As a social enterprise, our core objectives include long-term relational investment, grassroots skills advancement, evidence-based meaningful job creation, cultural exchange and the transfer of design and marketing expertise.
Indalo is not a charity – we are an organisation aimed at supporting development towards financial independence, engendering a culture of respect and self-sufficiency. By prioritising ‘design for sales’, innovation and excellence, the growth of our partner organisations is driven by market demand rather than donor appeasement. This ensures the economic viability of each producer and maximises the creative development and earning potential of individual craft artists. Within the first year, we intend to create 90 sales-based jobs, as well as increased income for a further 270 craft artists and other employees.
Products developed in partnership with Indalo convey a sense of the unique cultural and visual history of this continent, fusing traditional elements with modern design. The Indalo collections offer wide-ranging furniture, home décor, lighting, accessory, stationery and gifting options aimed at discerning local and international clientele.