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Fair Trade, Eco and Ethical

South Africa (Nobunto)

As the infection rate rises again in the UK, we are going to try to update you on news about how Covid-19 is affecting our suppliers around the world. We’re starting with a new supplier – whose products won’t be arriving with us until December or possible after Christmas – but who are delighted to have received our orders to help them out at a time when orders for them are few and far between.


Nobunto Candles is a WFTO member in the rural and picturesque village of Napier, 180km east of Capetown, producing handmade and painted candles with distinctly African styles. This year should have been a happy one for them, as it marks their tenth anniversary; their first candle was handpainted on 3rd May, 2010. Unfortunately the lockdown meant they had to close down for 9 weeks and like most small producers in the southern hemisphere, they don’t have large reserves to bridge such a long period of time without production and income. Compared to Europe, government support in South Africa is rare, and there’s little in the way of social security.


What remains after more than five months of curfew and lockdown in South Africa? Not very much. The country has come to an almost complete standstill and is in a severe crisis. The economy dropped by over 50% in the second quarter of the year, leading to millions of people losing their jobs; their inability to secure their livelihoods has created hardship, protests and unrest.


Restrictions have recently been relaxed further, supposedly a big step to normality, but much needed international travel is still prohibited, amongst other things, not good when tourism is such a big contributor to South Africa’s economy. This is affecting Nobunto badly as domestic orders are an important part of their business. They don’t see the restriction to travel ending this year, so their important domestic orders during the September-March period are likely to fall away to nothing. In addition, some of their long-term customers, who rely on the tourist trade, are giving up their businesses and closing for good.


International orders, especially from Germany and the USA, have so far kept Nobunto going, and the new orders we have placed have been a very welcome addition as it becomes more and more of a daily struggle for them. They expect the situation to continue like this for many months to come, and we sincerely hope that you will support them by ordering their products – which are extremely high quality and well worth ordering anyway!

Nobunto Workshop

Nobunto Workshop

Nobunto Candle Production

Nobunto Candle Production

Nobunto Candles

Nobunto Candles

Nobunto Candles

Nobunto Candles

Created On  14 Sep 2020 19:35 in Coronavirus  -  >>

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