AN INDEPENDENT CLOTHING BRAND THAT CARES
In the current economic climate, establishing a business is no easy feat. Founding a business that is successful, independent and philanthropic, while developing additional channels purely to create jobs, is a masterpiece – but how can this be achieved?
By creating a brand that strives to give back to the community, while developing its staff, a lasting platform for growth can be established. “In the cutthroat world of business, management often forgets that businesses are driven by people. If these people are not cared for, supported and guided to grow, the business becomes a mere shell of what it could be,” says Nelia Annandale, founder of the proudly South African, designer children’s clothing brand, Keedo.
The brand, which is the biggest independent kids clothing brand in the country, has carefully expanded over the last 22 years, with a keen focus on job creation, sustainability and responsible manufacturing. “Through efficient, ethical manufacturing, and a culture of employee engagement and support, we produce clothing that exudes positivity and care, while our designs encourage a love and respect for nature and the environment,” confirms Annandale.
Over the years, the company has built a network of initiatives that uplift society and women in South Africa by creating local employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Keedo supports smaller satellite factories for home sewers that enable women to spend less time commuting to work and more time with their families. “All staff are encouraged to grow to their own full potential and 40 women attended courses to upskill themselves and grow during the last two years”.
In addition to its internal support campaigns, Keedo has launched various social awareness projects to give back to needy children and the environment. One of their exciting projects is the ‘Little Miracle’ – Stop Hunger project. This project pledges six warm meals for each ‘zippy’ baby grow sold. It also backs the Forever Wild Rhino Project, which strives to combat rhino poaching in South Africa, and every season Keedo creates a rhino t-shirt to raise funds for, and awareness about, the plight of the rhino.
What does success really mean? Is it all about profits and cash in the bank, or is there another element to consider – a human element, an element that determines success by whether or not the workforce is happy and fulfilled? “Success would be empty without being able to lay my head down at night knowing that what my staff and I have built together is intrinsically good; for those that work in it, those that buy from it and the environment,” concludes Annandale. This is what sets brands apart.