The Socially Conscious Label From South Africa You Need To Know About

The Socially Conscious Label From South Africa You Need To Know About

Put your best foot forward.

By Fiona Williams | 12th September 2019

Stocked by one hundred retailers across Australia, Tsonga has been making ethical footwear with its signature hand stitching for fashion forward shoe lovers for more than two decades. With the brand enduring a plethora of challenges over this time operating within Australia, their dedication to quality footwear has ensured they are able to continue to grow.

Tsonga are not perfect; they are simply on a journey to become a better business every day. But what does that mean? Well, it’s simple really. Tsonga believe if they can do one thing each to help us become a more environmentally minded and socially conscious society, imagine where we would be in the next twenty years?

At Tsonga they dream big. Founded by Peter Maree, who saw an opportunity for a niche market in high quality leather footwear with a uniquely African style and the comfort that only hand-stitching could provide, Tsonga wanted to produce their product in South Africa thus creating jobs at a time when the industry was being decimated by cheap imports from the East. It was founded on John F Kennedy’s words: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Tsonga products are now sold across South Africa, Australia, the US and France. Most notably, Australia was one of Tsonga’s very first expansions as a distributor. “They believed in us, and we believed in them,” says Tsonga’s director Adrian Maree, son of founder Peter. This really proved that in a world based on fleeting conversations and fast fashion, there is still room for relationships, loyalty and a product that is built to last. In fact, Tsonga believe more than ever, this is the future. “We were told it couldn’t be done. We were told it was a waste of time and money. Twenty years later, look where we are,” says Adrian.

Taking a moment to pause and reflect at such a milestone of the brand’s history, Tsonga are more passionate about their product than ever. With their leather-bound story born out of an ambition to create an international footwear and accessories brand with humble roots and a strong African heritage, Tsonga wholly embodies a collaboration of passionate people, their creativity and their talents to bring about a positive difference in society.

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Article by Fiona Williams

Fiona is a Journalist and Food Writer who grew up in Adelaide. From Sydney to Brisbane to Canberra and now back to Brisbane, she now calls our wonderful city home. She’s a beauty fanatic obsessed with rose hip oil and she’s definitely made up of at least 80% dry shampoo. A lifelong campaigner against the word ‘good’, Fi (as she likes to be called) loves nothing more than using juicy adjectives and putting honey in her tea.