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Native Décor creates homeware items with an African feel, like this giraffe wine bottle holder |Courtesy of Native Décor
Native Décor creates homeware items with an African feel, like this giraffe wine bottle holder |Courtesy of Native Décor
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The Most Inspiring Startups to Watch Out For in South Africa

Picture of Carina Claassens
Updated: 3 June 2017
Ever imagined having a shower without any water, or alcohol delivered to your doorstep at the press of a button? Well, now you can, thanks to these inspiring South African startups and their innovative mobile apps and products.

DryBath® Gel

Headboy’s Industries Inc. is a product-development company and its latest invention, DryBath® Gel, by founder Ludwick Marishane, is as ground-breaking as it is practical. DryBath® Gel is a product that cleans the skin without using water—essentially it’s a body wash sans the shower. The gel also eliminates body odor, doesn’t harm the natural cells of the skin, and one small 15-milliliter sachet is the equivalent of one shower or bath. The best part is that the company provides the product to communities without water at a lower price, or if possible, for free.

Bottles

The Bottles App, from South African Software House, is the latest in delivery apps. Similar to food delivery apps, the app delivers alcohol straight to your door, within 60 minutes. Similar to Uber, the order can be tracked and the total fee can be split between other users. So next time you run out of drinks at a party or function, just pick up your phone.

ONEOFEACH

ONEOFEACH is a high-end fashion label established by mother and daughter team Tamburai and Pauline Chirume. The beautiful items are all inspired by Africa and all materials are sourced from within the continent. As so many “original” African items are manufactured in China, the Cape Town-based team aims to create truly unique items with an African origin. ONEOFEACH combines beautiful fabrics, leather, and suede to create one-of-a-kind products, including handbags, belts and jewelry.

A fold-over clutch purse
A fold-over clutch purse by ONEOFEACH | ©Claire Gunn Photography

Domestly.com

Domestly.com is creating work through connecting domestic cleaners to homeowners and tenants. The Domestly app was named the Most Innovative App in Africa at the AppsAfrica.com Awards Ceremony. Whether a cleaner is looking for work, or a homeowner is in need of domestic help, all they have to do is register on the site or the app and get connected to hundreds of relevant employers and job seekers.

Native Décor

Native Décor, started by Vusani Ravele, creates innovative home décor products that are functional as well as good-looking. All the designs are inspired by South Africa and have a minimalist feel. The products are mostly manufactured from timber and Perspex and there are flat-pack, self-assembly options available as well.

Native Décor wine bottle holder
The wine bottle holders are made from certified and sustainable Birch Plywood which is accepted for export to most countries | Courtesy of Native Décor

Comfy Mummy

Comfy Mummy Rocking Chairs was founded by a mother for mothers and manufactures nursery feeding chairs. Sarah Jeffreys started the company as she realized a need for a chair in which mothers could nurse their babies comfortably, and without struggling to get out of the chair while holding their child. The nursing chairs are also aesthetically pleasing and of a high quality. Clients can customize their chairs by choosing the fabric to match the décor scheme of their homes.

T Squared

Thabiso Mokomele from Gugulethu started designing and selling t-shirts to his peers while still in high school, both as a creative outlet and as a way to fund his education. After receiving a lot of positive response, Thabiso decided to manufacture on a larger scale, and taught himself everything there is to know about fashion design. T Squared clothing’s edgy, streetwear designs are handcrafted, stitched, and 100% locally produced.

T-Squared clothing
T Squared is popular because of its edgy, street-style inspired designs | ©Babalwa Memani