Gracious Dube’s eye for fashion has seen her rooibos tea bag purses being sold in Paris. The Hout Bay local says once she joined Original T Bag Designs in 2006, her creativity took flight.
The company, a social responsibility project, helps impoverished women from the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement earn money by making arts and crafts. French fashion designer Carine Khalil saw Dube’s eye-catching purses at the V&A Waterfront, and worked with Dube to recreate them for the Paris market.
They now sell for R376 at Ithemba Design Ethik, Khalil’s fashion and decor boutique in Paris.
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To make one silk-lined purse, Dube dries and irons between 45 to 50 rooibos tea bags. These are varnished and either glued or stitched on to the silk, and some purses are painted.
“Not only do the rooibos tea bags give my purses a beautiful, rich colour, they also tend to be a lot stronger than other tea bags,” says Dube, who says she’s also an avid rooibos drinker.