Mebala means colours in Setswana. Our brand seeks to celebrate and elevate African heritage, creativity, and craftsmanship, and ultimately create a positive impact on our environment and communities.
We manufacture sustainable and technology-enabled leather products. Our thoughtful designs are centred on permanence, our material choices are durable and responsible and our crafting methods have a minimal carbon footprint. These manufacturing processes emphasise the human touch and have been trusted for hundreds of years to deliver unparalleled quality. And by leveraging technology, we deliver functional products that fulfil the everyday needs of our clients.
Our company has created high-quality jobs for Africa’s creatives and leather artisans. Since 2019, we have trained young people in leather crafting and business management.
Mebala was started by TIhalefang Moeletsi in 2019. He was looking for a retro backpack with African print and leather accents. Unable to find the backpack from existing brands, Tlhalefang sketched the design, sourced materials from downtown Johannesburg and asked a local cobbler to craft the backpack. The design was a hit, and people kept asking Tlhalefang about it – Mebala was born!
Tlhalefang realised that existing brands didn’t sufficiently incorporate technology in their products. While functional brands prioritised use value and compromised aesthetics, high fashion brands emphasised aesthetics but compromised functionality. On the other hand, the fashion industry was having an increasingly negative impact on the environment. A creative by birth and economist by training, Tlhalefang established a slow fashion brand to offer custom-made and technology-enabled products.
Born in Johannesburg and raised in Bapong village outside Rustenburg, Tlhalefang trained as an economist and has emerged as a successful entrepreneur, designer, and industrialist.
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