Peppertree offers a large and diverse range including fabric, leather and canvas bags and range in price from R130 to R4 800.They include small purses and accessory bags, fashion, business and speciality bags and large leather travel bags. I chat to Graeme Malcolm, the director, about the brand.
What makes your work/brand different from your peers?
Peppertree Bags have a unique style. We focus on using only the best quality, locally produced materials and on manufacturing beautiful, honest products.
What attracted you to the business of designing bags?
It was the beautiful products, the amazing people and the story. Peppertree is truly a home-grown story. Having started in a garage and expanded to a company that now employs 20 diverse people producing, products that can stand with the best in the world. It is a special story.
Our industry is exciting, creative and fun. It operates at the junction of fashion, design, production and finance.
You sell your product across the globe, is there a difference between designing for a South African market and for the outside market?
We have been well received in many overseas markets. We don’t do anything differently for our international customers. They buy into the authenticity of our story and our products in the same way as our local customers. In fact, in many, particularly developed, markets there is a yearning for the wholesomeness our products and story offers.
People are looking for relief from the big business model and love the fact that they can connect with fellow human beings through buying our products.
What type of person has the Peppertree bag?
Our bags appeal to a wide range of people. Through our three ranges - canvas, leather and fabric - we offer many options. I think the common thread is people who love beautiful, authentic bags. We have kiddies bags, ladies and gents bags, business and travel bags, accessories and purpose bags. We also do a lot of corporate gifting.
How important is empowering others, to you?
Empowering others is everything. A business is its people. Peppertree is not one person. It is a team of people working together to achieve a common goal. If one falls we all fall so we support and mentor each other to create a stronger whole.
Take us through your mood boards?
Our mood boards are the result of input from all members of our team who bring inspiration from living what they do. We have different people with different interests and focus areas and we come together to craft our unique style and colour palettes. Our mood boards emerge from what we do and they are captured by our in-house graphic design specialist.
We search inside and outside our company, locally and internationally for the inspiration behind them. The internet is an amazing tool for keeping pace with international trends and has allowed us, sitting at the bottom of Africa, to stay globally relevant and in touch.
What are your thoughts on sustainable practices in the fashion industry?
A drive towards sustainability in every industry is non-negotiable. You would have to have your head buried in the sand not to realise that we have to all act more sustainably. The fashion industry is no different. The consumer is also driving this agenda harder and harder, especially the youth.
* Connect with Peppertree at www.peppertreebags.co.za