Article 1/January 2016  

Sustainable Employment what gives

Sustainable employment is increasingly being seen as an instrument for sustaining indigenous communities, and for a better future. Issues on sustainable development have become a key driver of the social and political agendas in many countries lately. Consequently, there has been growth in sustainability policy statements, strategies, guidelines and initiatives from national, regional and local governments, tourism organizations and local communities. However, governments, at all levels, have received criticism for sustainable employment development been described as little more than statements of platitudes and rhetoric, backed by glossy images. There is no doubt that economic issues have to be stressed in order to facilitate the development of Sustainable employment because of the persistent poor socio-economic conditions in local communities.

While the policies quite liberally adopt the virtues of sustainability, namely in headline sections such as the mission, objectives and rationale for developing the respective policy, analysis shows that significant emphasis is given to a limited range of factors associated with indigenous sustainable employment. If local employment is to be developed on the basis of sustainable development principles, economic, socio-cultural, political and ecological environments should be paid balanced attention to enhance the process. 

In my view collaborations of local entrepreneurs with regional businesses is key in closing business barriers and bringing about sustainable economic integration. The private sector is very important in partnering with local initiatives in pushing for interests and objectives, which are aligned to bring about prosperity. In my case the suppliers with whom I work are a partnership of local, regional and international entities.  This co-op ensures the right balance of production, of products that are accessible to markets at a comparative price, with the right exposure through its international links.

Collaboration and partnerships between businesses is equally crucial it is healthy for businesses to ensure that the local business context goes far beyond the national borders. 

Article 2/ March  2016  

How are our products put together?? 

Our products are admired , but most of us do not know how they are made.

I will show you in a few steps way just how they are made by the local community. I hope this will then give you a better understanding and appreciation of this craft, and the work that goes into it. 

We begin with the cutting, sewing & fraying of 100% cotton fabric. 

Individual designs are drawn with starch solution & sun-dried.

 All designs are hand-painted, utilizing our many colours.

The cooking process, in an industrial oven, makes the textiles colour fast & fully washable

   Following cooking, each piece is washed and dried in the sunshine.

 The starch is carefully removed to reveal the colorful designs.

The final process includes sewing & pressing, in preparation for packing

And in the end we have our products! 

               Article 3/ May  2016  

Washing Instructions & Handy Hints 

Each item is individually hand painted, you will find variations in tone, colour and design.

You will also find little imperfections and irregularities from time to time. This, we feel,only adds charm, character and individuality to your unique and exclusive purchase.

We have taken tremendous care to ensure that this item gives you many years of pleasure;however, it is important that you follow the CARE INSTRUCTIONS below. 

1. Wash me by hand or in the washing machine on a
gentle cycle in warm water.
2. Do not wash me in a large load of washing.
3. Wash me separately with your special items.
4. It is OK to tumble dry me.
5. Iron me (on the wrong side) as I am 100% cotton and
therefore crease.
6. Do not spot clean me with harsh detergents.
7. I am UVB protected and can be exposed to sunlight.
However, do not leave me all day in the sun.

Colours will not fade or run as each item has been ‘cured’ in a special oven.

When washing make sure to use a tiny amount of washing powder and to make sure the washing powder is dissolved before adding your home ware.

Certain soap powders have strong bleaching agents in them, and If powder is poured directly on the fabric bleached spots may occur. 

Drying fabrics in the open air and sunlight keeps them fresh. Our fabric is UVB protected therefore will not fade in the sun.

​Stains usually become problematic if they have dried into the fibers therefore it is important to treat stains as soon as they occur. When using certain solvents, use it sparingly as too much solvent and abrasion can have an adverse effect on the fabrics colour.

Care Instructions 

BEETROOT: Soak in cold water.  Rub washing liquid into the mark with your fingers.  If the stain still remains, proceed to soak fabric in warm water and wash as normal.

CHEWING GUM: Place the stained garment in a plastic bag and freeze overnight.  The gum will scrape off easily. If the stain remains try loosening the gum by soaking in white vinegar or gently rubbing with egg white before washing.

CHOCOLATES: Rub off gently with a blunt knife. Using a damp sponge, gently blot at any remaining stain until it's clean - being careful not to wet the area too much. More persistent stains may need additional work. If so, apply a little dry cleaning fluid to a sponge and very gently dab at the stain until the stain is removed. Blot dry with a dry cloth.

COFFEE & TEA: Soak in a lukewarm detergent solution.  Then treat with a dab of methylated spirits. Alternatively use a wet toweling cloth that has been dipped in cold water. Sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda onto the coffee or tea stain and very gently massage into the fabric. Rinse off thoroughly before washing.

CRAYON OR WAX: Place stains between two sheets of paper toweling, go over the area with iron, replacing the paper as the crayon adheres to the toweling. F

FRUIT OR FRUIT JUICES: Cranberry, raspberry and grape are the hardest juice stains to remove. Rub the stain with salt before washing. Rinse in cold water and soak in liquid detergent, then wash with normal detergent. 

GREASE/OIL: Start by blotting as much of the excess grease as possible using a paper towel or tea towel. Scrape as much off as possible with a blunt knife, then work in neat washing liquid with fingers. Alternatively Sprinkle with cornflour, allow the oil to be absorbed, clean fabric and wash immediately. Repeat these steps if necessary. 

TOMATO SAUCE: Very gently scrape off any excess using a plastic spatula or a flat-edged butter knife. Use a damp sponge to gently blot the stain then using a dry cloth to alternately blot the stain dry. Wash immediately. Don’t rub fabric harshly to remove stains as this can abrade fibers and cause fading. 

WINE: Cover with salt to absorb the alcohol then soak in cold water and proceed to wash as normal. Or soak the red wine stain in white wine (or soda water). Next, cover the stain with a thick baking soda and water paste. Leave the baking soda on the stain for a few hours, moistening the solution with water. Once the treatment is done, wash the fabric as normal. 

Article 4/ July 2016 

Sustainable employment and economic growth

More than half the workers in the developing world are in vulnerable jobs working for themselves or in unpaid family work. Better quality employment can help tackle poverty and provide people with security and drive economic growth. But jobs can do much more than just providing an income. It allows families better access to amenities like safe water and reliable energy which in turn free up time and money and improve health and education. In a virtuous circle this leads to a new generation of skilled, educated and inspirational young people, equipped to take advantage of new opportunities. So, creating sustainable jobs can go on to change life for entire communities and, on a larger scale, underpin social cohesion across countries and regions. This makes investment in sustainable job creation a cost effective way to deliver long term, positive development impact. 

With 9 out of 10 jobs in developing countries currently provided by the private sector, it is clear that the global business community has a major role in providing these jobs – and in reaching businesses and entrepreneurs across Africa and Asia to both reduce the barriers to employment and directly create job opportunities in low-income communities.

Article 5/ September 2016 

Weekend Markets are they worth it?

I had a friend come to visit one of the markets that I do over the weekend, it was  1 PM, hot and quiet most of the activity was over at the food stalls, and he looked at me and asked, mate its a lot work, setting up and then packing away, never mind the early start, is it worth the effort?.

I think that at time that may be something that probably has crossed many stall holders mind at one time or other, and it got me thinking. Of course on a good day that is the furthest from your mind, but in a quite patch, its something to think about,which is natural( I think!) I thought about it and responded to him, not ad verbatim, but along these lines.  

Markets are a great place to build a rapport with people, chat and get noticed. I think its a its a great place to do your market research. Whilst Talana Trading is by in large and e-commerce site, markets are a very valuable tool to run along side and compliment your business. Whilst researching the viability of new products is a must , the litmus test is at a market, where potential customers can see feel, a product, and decide if the value of the products on offer,  reflect what they see as fair value.

I continued to tell him, that quite often, people who may not have purchased, do come back at a later stage , or purchase on line based on what they saw first hand. Markets are the first line , after deciding to go ahead with a product line, as to what the "customer thinks about your product". Markets are an excellent place to test first hand , with sample products, as to how they could or would be received, by your Target Audience, it would be no exaggeration to say,  that some samples products that where tested at the markets, where not well received, which then I feel enabled me to make an educated decision not to go ahead and buy from a new/potential supplier. For all the research that one can do, engaging  with customers at a market over a period of time is a very good way to help you with the process of the viability of any new product offerings. 

Article 7/ November 2016 

Why we work with whom we do

This is, what our partners do in their local communities, and what they mean by sustainable employment!

FAIR TRADE & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Their Commitment to the community




Article 8/ December  2016.

African Art Workshop 

Whilst on a overseas trip to Europe, a family member was most impressed by the quality of the products, and was impressed enough to ask if she could learn some of these techniques or at least see the community at work. On doing some follow up to this request, I am please to say this is indeed possible, so for anyone reading this blog please be aware that African art classes with the possibility of going on a safari in one of the most beautiful parts of Southern Africa is very much doable!  Our supplier is  now offering you the chance to go on a safari with a difference. Come down  and work side by side with  highly experienced and friendly team of artists amidst the buzz of our industrious outdoor workshop.  Learn the unique art of hand drawing onto cotton with natural materials, using either a pre-drawn stencil or creating your own design.  Bring your drawing to life by hand painting it with our stunning water-based colours ranging from bush reds and earth blues to leaf greens and sunshine yellows. 

While your art work dries in the heat of the African sun you can take the chance to explore the wide array of textiles on offer in the beautiful showrooms and shady courtyards.  Once your piece is dry and baked in our oven to fix the colours, our finishing department  sew and press it ready for you to take home at the end of your stay in the South Luangwa.

Please feel free to contact us for any information!