From humble beginnings - driven by need, the business “STITCHWISE” grew in the heart of the deepest mines in the world, Gauteng, South Africa. The “need” being the need of the flotsam from mine disasters, the disabled mine employees’ need for employment opportunities.
The need to give as many people possible a reason to get up and get going – w.o.r.k.. This gives one dignity and purpose, not just a pay cheque. The need to provide the mining industry with products that enhance safety and reduce potential injury to the men working underground.
The need for industry in our country to adopt an uncompromising approach to social responsibility. This golden thread remains indestructible in their approach to every aspect of their business.
This, is STITCHWISE.
In 1996 STITCHWISE started a sewing skills project to empower disabled mine workers, by making rainwear for the local mines. This exposed them to the dangerous conditions miners were working in, and revealed a clear need for innovative protective wear and other concepts in mining support. Their search for new markets to ensure a constant work flow for the differently abled employees, led to the broadening of the product range. Innovative and unique products are designed for the specific requirements of STITCHWISE clients'.
At their Paragon factory, safety products such as Knee Guards, Arm Guards, Cap Lamp Belts and Safety Nets are manufactured. Backfill Bags, Rock Packs, Hard Hat Harnesses and Laundry Bags are all manufactured and supplied from their Carletonville factory.STITCHWISE seeks to run a profitable business while imbuing their staff with tangible work and life skills - “We pride ourselves on our empowerment programs, ongoing training, social upliftment and the contribution to the development of the community and our country’s economy.” An employee trust holds a 26% stake in the company. The company is Level 4 B-BBEE compliant, and the staff complement comprises of 30% paraplegics, while mainly woman manage and supervise the operations. These statistics again reveal the company’s uncompromising commitment to social upliftment.
STITCHWISE remains the largest manufacturer and supplier of geotextile backfill bags, knee guards and various Specialised Personal Protective Equipment in South Africa.