Kunye (Xhosa for ‘forward together’) was established in 1995 by Alison Coutras. After returning from the USA, Alison was inspired to combat unemployment in South Africa. Her solution was to start Kunye, an initiative which trains and provides work to unemployed people through crafting products using recycled materials whenever possible.
The designs incorporate traditional techniques but a with new, unique and fresh feel. Amongst the range that Kunye produces are the plastic chickens that started it all – the range has expanded and now includes: farm animals like sheep, ducks and a mouse, birds like ostriches, penguins and flamingos and wild animals such as elephants, giraffes, lions and a rhino. The range is also available in paper. A recent addition to the collection includes a Paper Maché range made from the London Financial Times.
The talented team behind the Kunye name also make beaded placemats, coasters, wall art, frames, gift boxes and jewellery from paper beads. Bespoke items for conferences and functions can also be created.