Worklife - Supporting the Community

Worklife was launched in 2002 with the vision of filling a gap in the workwear market by offering a range of stylish, quality, top-end workwear to the corporate, hospitality and domestic markets.

From the beginning it was clear that Worklife would be positioned as a superior brand using only top quality locally produced fabrics, expert labour and up-to-the-minute designs with an emphasis on African style with its broad appeal to the hospitality industry.

As the Worklife brand became established we began to source fabrics from within South Africa, gradually reducing intake from traditional sources overseas. This proved successful and made us reassess the whole production operation which was being handled through normal commercial factories.

We were keen that Worklife should not only succeed, but should give something back.

We began talking to the Department of Labour in 2006 with a view to setting up production facilities that would be of benefit to underprivileged sectors of the community.

This led to our current association with Sheltered Employment Factories. Established many years ago, SEF provides employment opportunities for handicapped people who are unable to work in the competitive open labour market.

SEF currently has 12 factories throughout the country, all under the umbrella of the Department of Labour trading under the name Service Products, and employs more than 1 000 disabled workers.

After many months of negotiation, and a firm commitment from Worklife to stay in for the long haul, it was agreed that one of the factories in Pretoria would be given over to making Worklife garments.

As of 2008 the SEF factory in Silverton, Pretoria has been dedicated to producing the Worklife range and we are proud to say that we now employ 35 disabled workers - all highly trained - who work exclusively on Worklife production. They are now our sole suppliers.

Each worker has been trained to the highest level and, in fact, our workforce and their training has become the standard for other SEF factories and features in their in-house training videos.

In a letter dated 8 September 2008, Service Products textile division manager, C Z Fourie (tel: 012 843 7319) says:

“One of our valued customers is Worklife for whom Service Products is a sole supplier of garments for the hospitality and domestic sectors. The business awarded by Worklife has enabled us to employ 35 disabled people who concentrate on Worklife’s product requirement.

“Service Products has been rated by the SABS as being 100% compliant in manufacturing capability. Goods of exceptional quality are produced to customer specifications and there are strict quality control systems in place.”

This is where we are in 2008 and our aim is to expand the business to a point where we create at least 15 new jobs every year at our Service Products factory in Pretoria and possibly extend that reach to other areas of the country.

We know we are doing the right thing by trying to remain proudly South African and giving back to society.