A Sari for Change product tells a pay it forward story of generosity and gifts from a grandmother, aunt or mother who has donated her traditional bridal garments to this South African cause for the value and worth of the Sari to be transformed into a modern garment that bears semblance to the original sari...a sari that carries weight and years of tradition and energy.
A call to individuals to donate their gently worn saris for remaking and upcycling has seen this movement in fashion link unemployed women to the circular economy, fondly making garments in South Africa.
Production & Skills Development
Our training programme in our incubation hubs shifts women from being unemployed towards becoming self sufficient. With an unemployment rate of 34.5 % percent and rising, Sari for Change acknowledges its responsibility in empowering women to learn a monetizable skill with the aim of starting their own businesses or becoming our independent makers, creating an inclusive eco-system.
Sharing knowledge and skills is important in our process as it is an integral part of achieving the SDG1 and SDG8 UN goals - alleviating poverty and creating decent work whilst participating in the economic growth.
Our Ethics & Values
Materials / Textiles
All our material are 100% recycled saris.
We focus on the following garments whilst we honour the original sari design, ensuring each embellishment is deftly the showpiece of the garment
The drawstring pants
The reversible or double sided jacket in varying lengths
We cannot duplicate a sari as we use one sari per garment. Each piece is unique although using the same pattern.
We have a no plastic policy. When sorting our saris, the saris containing a high polyester content are kept aside specifically for our bags, made at developmental level. We use the off cuts from the production floor to create upcyled totes. Our packaging are all recycled and reusable and become the first entry point for earning as women in training on the sewing machine are encouraged to produce and perfect as many as they can for immediate payment. Our bags are often termed as "the most imperfect bag" as the trainees are practicing to stitch with most of the ladies using a sewing machine for the first time.
Prof Tanusha Raniga of Social Work & Community Development At UJ had her white paper published titled Role of economic development cooperatives in improving the livelihoods of women in Gauteng. Her paper was based on interviewing 9 of the participants of the Sari For Change incubation.
Our founder was a business leader of Partners in Possibility in 2019, Sari for Change thus partnered with Thabang Primary School in Dobsonville, Soweto to provide skills to unemployed moms. Their SGB chairperson Shadi Mogale has taken the project forward to now producing bags for Sari For Change and uniforms for the school.
Our founder, Rayana Edwards is the 2020 recipient of the Global Leaders Women Award awarded by Goldman Sachs and Fortune Magazine for her economic hubs she terms as the sacred economy through Sari for Change.
We participated in our first international fashion week at Torino Fashion Week, Italy in 2017 curated by our client SACRED. Our range was designed by our client in Sweden, 100% produced in South Africa and showcased in Italy. SACRED was one of the process winners for their sustainable range.
We were invited as a guest speaker at a seminar hosted in September 2021 by Lombard Odier with a group of leading commentators on the fashion sector to include Dr. Precious Motsepe. We focused on sustainability and how fashion can take responsibility.
We were invited to a guest lecture at Henley Business School at their mini conference on sustainability and shared value where we could unpack our model as proof of evidence of a gift economy.