Founded in 2002 in Cape Town, South Africa, Afrographic has grown from a small craft operation into an established and innovative manufacturer of leather key rings that tell an inspiring African story.
The project, currently led by craftsperson Lindelwa Maqabuka and business strategist Vincent Urbain, began as a creative collaboration between graphic artists in the city and craftspeople in the informal settlements and is still true to that spirit today. Click here for a video on the project.
Our signature ‘Big Five' and sea creature range of key rings is handmade by our passionate team in the Khayelitsha township. Lindelwa and her assistants all work from her studio, avoiding a long commute and allowing them more time with their families.
With the craft studio focused on job creation and the production of quality products and the business space in town handling distribution and marketing, both studios are allowed to flourish, maximizing production, empowerment and opportunity. Click here for a video on manufacturing.
Materials and production
Our leather is organically tanned and sourced from small farms on the East Coast of South Africa. Once it has been cut on a clicking press with custom designed die templates, it is handed over to the craft team for assembly. Click here for a video on clicking.
Great care and skill is applied in the hand making of each piece, with intricate stitching and finishing techniques used throughout. Click here for a video on hand stitching. To ensure consistency, each product is inspected for quality before being distributed. View the range here.
We consider material optimisation critical to our process and always look to design new products from material offcuts. Our sharks, penguins and lion’s heads and manes are made entirely from offcuts of the Project Dyad range.
To further explore the exciting possibilities of repurposing industry waste, we have begun working with a research and development team to harness creativity and technology to produce a reconstituted leather material.
We love to collaborate and have created bespoke products for a number of businesses by either embossing or laser engraving their corporate identity or logo onto our key rings. Collaborators include Cape Town boutique hotel 52 de Wet, South African gin label Indlovu and German NGO Moncoeur. Click here for video on laser engraving.
We stock our range of key rings at nature reserves, boutique hotels and shops worldwide. For a wholesale price list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of our client relationships stretch back years. Click here to read their reviews.
Giving back- Afrographic in collaboration with Lalela has come up with a unique leather animal keyring range. The accents on the penguins and lions are made from leather off-cuts using Lalela’s range of printed bags and accessories, making each animal completely unique. 15 % of the sale of these leather animals will go to Lalela, to support their educational arts for at-risk youth.
Find out more on www.lalela.org- We are also proud to support The Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation by donating 15% of all sales of the sea creature key rings. The Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation’s mission is to develop and drive scientifically and socially sound education, conservation and research programs and campaigns, which contribute to the protection and well-being of our oceans. Find out more on https://www.aquarium.co.za/content/page/support-us.
To view all our videos on Youtube, click here.
Photographs and videos by Tremayne Ward-Smith