OKAPI – NAMBI BAG
Named in honour of Nambi, The African Goddess of The Sky who left the sky to live with an earthly man named Kintu. Okapi’s opulent feather clutch pays homage to the rich history of Oudtshoorn, the South African town from which feathers are sourced.
The once thriving ostrich feather industry played a significant role in the transformation of this small village into the richest Ostrich capital in the world, at a time in which ostrich feathers were more valuable than gold or diamonds. These days the positive social impact of ostrich farming remains as the original ostrich farming families of the Karoo are committed to empowering the local community and nurturing sustainable ostrich farming. This elegant Ostrich shin detailed clutch adorned with ostrich feathers is the perfect companion to add a statement accent to any ensemble with the long strap allowing it to be worn both as a clutch and crossbody.
Blesbok & Ostrich shin leather with Ostrich feathers. All materials are sustainably sourced as a by-product of the existing free range farming industry practices in South Africa.
Founded in Cape Town, South Africa in 2008 by Hanneli Rupert, Okapi is an African luxury lifestyle brand which uses sustainably sourced materials to create signature pieces of exceptional quality. From start to finish, Okapi products are entirely handmade in Africa. This is a simple yet effective approach to create job opportunities and promote skills development within local communities. The line of luxury handbags and lifestyle accessories is named after the elusive antelope otherwise known as the ‘African unicorn’ and draws influence from the mysticism of Africa, exploration, magic and the natural world.
Okapi endeavours to give further purpose and use to the free range farming industry in South Africa by creating functional, leather and horn masterpieces from disregarded and forgotten materials. Continuously supporting the local community and economy, Okapi products are handcrafted with exceptional quality. The Okapi collection comprises bags, backgammon boards, key rings, cardholders, purses and wallets.
Farm To Table Fashion
Guided by the African philosophy of UBUNTU ‘I am because we are’, the ethos of Okapi is strongly rooted in the idea of farm to table fashion and social upliftment. Okapi works only with sustainably sourced materials from locally sourced, commonplace livestock such as Ostrich and Blesbok, the leather from which is a by-product of the existing free range farming industry in South Africa. Through the close relationships which they have fostered with the farming communities in the Karoo region, they are able to give complete transparency and ensure that their natural materials are 100 % traceable, ethical and sustainably sourced. These sustainably sourced materials include all of Okapi’s leathers and also their signature Springbok horn – an African talismanic charm, believed across Africa to bring good luck to those who wear it.
The initiatives run by Okapi and their suppliers also contribute to the development of rural communities in South Africa, through grassroots craft group collaborations and small scale farming initiatives which focus on sustainable farming and human development.
These guiding principles, inspired by the philosophy of UBUNTU, reflect the essence of Okapi’s ethos of meeting exceptionality and authenticity, with sustainability and the minimisation of waste.
Okapi strives to promote and elevate heritage craftsmanship. The brand works with the original Ostrich farming families, conservationists, fourth generation leather craftsmen, and the artisanal metal workers with whom Okapi hand-make all of their hardware in-house. They work closely with communities practicing extremely intricate weaving and beadwork to develop their accessories. ZenZulu wire horns were born from a collaboration between Okapi and ZenZulu – a fairly traded, eco community project based in KwazuluNatal which focuses on sophisticated Zulu weaving methods with a contemporary twist. Okapi’s beaded tassels are part of a collaboration with Monkey Biz, which revives traditional beadwork and creates stable jobs for their creatives in Cape Town.
As a result of the complex manufacturing process undertaken to produce each piece, there can only ever be a limited number of each style made per year, guaranteeing Okapi’s exclusivity. Expert craftsmanship is combined with inspiration drawn from the natural world to create truly authentic hand crafted pieces that marry the brands ethos of meeting exceptionality and authenticity, with sustainability and a minimisation of waste.
To learn more about sustainable lifestyle brand Okapi, please visit – www.okapi.com