UPCYCLED CROCHET DESIGNS BY ROSA HANDMADE
When Makhosazane Rose Sekgwama realised she had lost her passion for the corporate world, she turned to a skill her mother had taught her years before, to try and find meaning in her life.
“I took up crochet again as a hobby and soon realised I had a strong passion for the craft,” she says. “So strong that I was willing to quit my career of many years, to turn this hobby into a design business.”
Seeing the gap in the market for contemporary crocheted homeware goods, the Pretoria-based designer created a range of products to test at exhibitions, and the response she received assured her it was time to pursue this path. “I founded Rosa Handmade in 2017 and have not looked back since,” she says.
In fact, her unique and sustainable products have been so well-received that Sekgwama has showcased at Paris Design Week and been selected as one of 50 Design Indaba Emerging Creatives in 2020.
From rugs to planters, shoppers, throws, a wide range of baskets and more, her products come in bold, contemporary colours, and are not only stylish, but sustainable, too. “I use T-shirt yarn, as it is made from fabric offcuts, which would otherwise end up in landfills,” explains Sekgwama. “For me it's important to eliminate waste from the fashion industry, so I am happy to have found materials that are already recycled and sustainable.”
Sekgwama also feels strongly about transferring her knowledge, and while she creates most of her products herself, she has taught a small team of women from her community how to crochet, who assist with bigger orders and making stock for exhibitions and pop-ups. “This way I am able to help create employment opportunities, and transfer my skills to others.”
For the designer, inspiration comes from her rural village upbringing, natural landscapes in KwaZulu-Natal, bold African patterns and the simpler things in life. “I have a general appreciation of slow-made, high-quality products, and that’s one of the things I love about crochet,” she explains. “The technique is slow, repetitive and calming, yet almost limitless in terms of what you can create using different fibres and materials.”
100 Beautiful Things is presented by the V&A Waterfront in celebration of South Africa’s creativity, compassion, ingenuity and resilience. Every week we will be showcasing five amazingly beautiful creative things that make us proud. It is curated in partnership with Platform Creative.