Sustainable Luxury is probably not a term that many people are aware of, or understand. The concept is quite simple, and the consequences far reaching. It’s all about ethical and social consciousness, by spending without damaging the environment and without exploiting people, and simultaneously being a luxury item.

This is the idea behind Taunina, a Cape Town based company that produces bespoke, handmade luxury soft toys, designed and created by women from underprivileged communities.

Founders Tracey Chiappini-Young and Karen Jansen share a passion to do good and created Taunina to meet the growing needs of disadvantaged communities through employment creation and authentic empowerment.

The result?

One-of-a-kind, handcrafted collector’s items, with exquisite embroidery and appliqué detail, created by a single artist over the course of four to seven days.
These bears and bunnies aren’t necessarily made to be played with, but are intended to serve as heirlooms or mantelpieces that can be passed down from one generation to the next. Each one even comes in its own hat box and with a personal passport. How cute?

Proving that they are truly sustainable (and explaining the hefty price tag, each bear selling for between R1800 and R3600 each)  the artists are paid above market-related salaries, and receive 30% of the company profits.

They may be producing from a small studio in Woodstock, but Taunina has managed to get their line into the celebrity favourite children’s store, Bundle NYC, and are planning to expand to Harrods in London and Barneys in New York.

Visit the Taunina store in Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town or visit their site.