Jum Designs is a proudly South African brand. Bright, vibrant, shweshwe bags have become our trademark. We are also keen on aligning more and more with the sustainable fashion movement. But we don’t just sell bags. Through our creativity, we celebrate the vibrancy of South African life. We embrace all the colours redolent in our landscapes and seascapes. And we thereby enable all our clients to do the same.

We are also an ethical brand.

Recently, national news and social media have brought into focus a darker, more violent undercurrent in our society. Although, truth be told, it’s far more than an undercurrent. Unfortunately, gender-based violence is hardly a new problem in South Africa. It’s one of the many reasons why an important part of our vision for Jum Designs is empowerment.

Our long-term aim is to empower more women in our local community. Teaching sewing and entrepreneurial skills is one of our core values. It’s a way to give a sense of pride and potential economic freedom to women.

Let me be clear: we’re not saying that skills development for women is the answer. Because the solution is not women’s responsibility. Indeed, the solution lies in focusing on boys and young men, and their attitudes towards women. But that is beyond our scope at Jum Designs. What we can do, however, is to aim to bring some positive change to local women who have suffered from discrimination.

Ours are humble beginnings, to be honest. But at least we have made a start.

Importantly, this form of ‘upskilling’ also enables women to focus on the positive aspects that are a part of our South African heritage…

Creativity. Colour. Community.

These are the aspects of South African life that we choose to celebrate. We are proud to live in this country. To call South Africa home. To be part of the South African community. To enjoy all that South Africa has to offer.

We in no way diminish the tragedies. We recognise and acknowledge suffering, past and present. But we also choose to celebrate the kindness we can see in South Africans. Ubuntu is an important part of our heritage. That sense of community is an integral component of the change we need to see. Kindness is the way forward. And at Jum Designs we try our utmost to spread the kindness.

Because what is the answer if it isn’t kindness?

Call me naive, but I believe that kindness is a universal solution. Kindness. Just that one word. Kindness to self, to others, and to the environment.

In most cases, the start is to be kind to yourself. I’m not talking about selfishness, but rather self care. Being kind to others and the environment starts with being kind to yourself. By caring for your own well-being, you ensure that you have more energy to put into your relationships. And this, in turn, spreads kindness and the resultant healing, into society at large.

Goodness knows, we could do with more kindness towards others right now. So, firstly, give yourself the space you need to recharge. Do what you need to do to ensure there is more of you to give to others.

Then, do what you can to spread kindness to those around you. Choosing kindness is the solution our country needs right now.

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