EMPOWERING WOMEN AND BLESSING CHILDREN THROUGH SUSTAINABLE FASHION

Tweak Fashion NPC, a dynamic non-profit organisation based in South Africa, is on a mission to transform lives and make a meaningful impact on communities. Established as the driving force behind the Tweak Directors' passion for transformation, Tweak Fashion NPC identifies unemployed women in local communities, provides them with essential sewing and manufacturing skills, and empowers them to become self-employed entrepreneurs. By fostering self-sufficiency, Tweak Fashion NPC plays a vital role in promoting sustainability and empowering women in South Africa.

At the heart of Tweak Fashion NPC's vision is the Tweak Empowerment program, which aims to train and empower women to become entrepreneurs. The organisation takes existing textiles, fabrics, and clothing and repurposes them without loss of value, all while inspiring women to create.

Tweak Fashion NPC is dedicated to establishing a significant presence in South Africa as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), focusing on the manufacture and distribution of "Mumpy," a comfort toy designed for underprivileged, special needs, and terminally ill children. Mumpy, a portmanteau of Mum & Penny, was created in 1964 by Stella Jolliffe, CEO Justine Engelbrecht's mother, for her sister Penny, who was ill at the time, having been born with a heart defect. Penny lived a healthy life until the age of 53; she passed away seven weeks after receiving a heart transplant on the 19th February 2018. Stella passed away in April 2021 at the age of 83, and soon afterwards Mumpy was reinvented and brought back to life. Tweak would like to bless all children in South Africa that need comforting with Mumpy.

Mumpy is made from repurposed material, supporting sustainable fashion, she is filled with Virgin Ball Fiber, ensuring she is Hypo-Allergenic, and she is made by the ladies at Tweak as part of the entrepreneur program.  She is super soft, and like the ladies who make them, each one is completely Unique! Mumpy can be made as a comfort toy as well as a sensory toy.

Tweak Fashion's mission revolves around maintaining a sustainable way of life, fostering innovation, expression, and inspiration. Through comprehensive training and support, Tweak Fashion empowers women to become entrepreneurs, enhances their quality of life, reduces waste, and minimises environmental impact. The organisation's efforts also extend to uplifting children through various projects. CEO Justine Engelbrecht says, "we are a vibrant team of directors with a heart for making a difference in the lives of those around us." She believes the only solution to unemployment in South Africa is through entrepreneurship and with this in mind empowering and upskilling women is the essence of what they do at Tweak.

Tweak Fashion NPC operates sustainably by utilising second-hand clothing and fabric remnants which are distributed to the Tweak ladies for use in sewing projects, including the Mumpy initiative and manufacturing for clients.

Tweak ladies do manufacture for clients with new fabrics, which are then purchased, these jobs are essential to support the Women Empowerment Program.

Additionally, Tweak Fashion NPC donates items it cannot use to various foundations with access to local communities in need, ensuring that resources are put to good use. The organisation maintains clean and organised storage space to manage fabric and clothing efficiently.

Tweak Fashion NPC offers comprehensive training programs to empower women:

  1. Basic Sewing: Covers fabric types, scissors care, cutting techniques, machine operation, and crafting various items.
  2. Advanced Sewing:Includes pattern making, advanced sewing techniques, and production of Mumpy comfort toy.
  3. Micro Enterprise Course: Covers entrepreneurship fundamentals, business planning, financial management, marketing, and more. Graduates receive a Certificate of Completion.

In 2024, Tweak is planning with the support of sponsorship to be able to train a minimum of 10 more women into the program. Each sponsored woman will receive a basic sewing course, advanced sewing course and a 10 week Micro Enterprise training course, a sewing machine to set her up at home, haberdashery, and initial orders to kickstart her sewing business. They are also hoping with the support of sponsorship to  bless 1000 children with the Mumpy comfort toy.

Successes:

Rosa & Jenny Kissema have started their own fashion label El Jero. Rosa has also been promoted to Sewing Room Assistant, managing the new sewing room in Maboneng. Nandipha Moeketsi has started making her own clothing. Zinhle Mhlangu has saved enough money to pay for a care giver course in the new year.

Tweak has donated over 2 tons of clothing to communities in need and has downcycled 1,3 tons of material scraps.

To date 10 women have passed through our program, 6 women have completed the Micro Enterprise Course, 520 children from various schools and children's homes have received a Mumpy, 150 children have received clothing made by Tweak Fashion ladies.

Currently the Tweak ladies are manufacturing 325 Mumpy for the Lsen Ithembelihle School children in Primrose as well as 325 Tracksuits for the children for January 2024.

Whether through sponsorship, participation, or contributions to the fundraiser, everyone can make a difference with Tweak Fashion NPC. Your support helps empower women, reduce waste, and bring comfort to children in need.