Chitenge & Gift Bags

Through the work Mulberry Mongoose do, you support each other as a team and make Zambian materials beautiful. But that does not only help you it goes back to helping me and my family as single mother of 4 kids. - Sara, local artisan

We use Chitenge material to create our famous gift bags that accompany every piece of jewelry sold. Our team wear beautiful chitenge uniforms, choosing their favorite design to express their unique personalities.

We use Chitenge as it is stylish, vibrantly African, and purposeful. Traditionally the material protects cherished items; mothers use it to tie babies to their backs, it is wrapped around clothing for protection when doing daily chores and worn for important events such as funerals.

We source our chitenge material from single mother, Sara, who established her business after her husband left her homeless with 4 children to care for. Sara has a twinkle in her eye and a determined mindset. Despite extraordinary challenges she ‘made a plan’, borrowed money and took herself to the main local town, Chipata, to source the material for resale at the market. Carefully selecting chitenge that was superior in quality and design she garnered a trusted reputation in her community. Pouring her earnings back into sourcing more material she expanded her business and can fund her kids through school.

We are proud to be Sara’s biggest client sourcing our gift bag material and uniforms from her.

We sell over 5000 pieces of jewellery each year and order over 6000 locally made chitenge bags annually. This investment supports our local economy whilst ensuring our jewellery is uniquely African in look and packaging.

Fun fact: This colourful African fabric is wax printed, worn in many parts of Africa and goes by many names including Kitenge, Chitenge, Dutch Wax or Ankara fabric. Despite its strong association African identity, kitenge was originally imported from Holland.