Developing our Strenghts

As we are growing as a company it is vital to grow and develop our team members. From January to April this year the leadership team of the business embarked on a journey to identify and build on our strengths.  We worked together with Laura, from the Pacific Institute in Swaziland, as she guided us through a series of workshops where we were challenged to find our blind spots and to see a different picture from the one we are used to seeing.

It was a journey of growth for all of us. A journey showing us that we are the change agents in our business, and our lives, and by working together we can reach the goal/vision as we identified it. We are looking forward to continue this journey in our team! A big thank you to Laura for working with us!

From left: Signhild, Sphiwe, Grace, Sizakele and Laura. Mantfombi is missing from the picture.

From left: Signhild, Sphiwe, Grace, Sizakele and Laura. Mantfombi is missing from the picture.

Batik workshop with Ace Camp travel company

At the end of March we had the privilege to host an Ace Camp workshop. Ace Camps is an interesting travel company, based in Canada, focusing on developing travels where the participants learn a skill. For their Swaziland trip the focus was to learn to batik.

The participants spent three days together with us, where they got a hands on experience in how to make batiks. Everyone started by creating small test swatches, to get used to the techniques, before they moved on to bigger pieces.

Some of the results from Day 1 test swathces

Some of the results from Day 1 test swathces

Our Baobab Batik artisans were teachers during the three days of the workshop. They were showing all the participants the tricks of the trade; how hot the wax needs to be, how to use the tools, the best way to apply the dye, and in general giving advice on how to get the best result.

The final day together we all joined each other for lunch in our Baobab Batik garden. It was a great way to round off three days together, as it gave us a chance to sit down and talk and learn about each other's lives.

Thank you Ace Camp for visiting us! We enjoyed teaching you how to make batik!

Swazi beauty!

Friday 9th September we celebrated our 25th anniversary. The theme for the day was Swazi Beauty.

When we started planning our party we knew we wanted to do something special, which would involve our entire team. We wanted to have a creative process, and for all the team members to learn new skills.

We decided on a fashion show, where we designed and produced all the items. Over the last few months the team has been busy collecting ideas, agreeing on the theme, drawing, experimenting and creating. It has been a fun process, where we all have been involved in the development of the items, and planning of our birthday party. It was an honour to invite our families and friends to join us, and be part of our celebration.

Our party and fashion show was a great success! A huge thank you to everyone involved!

Baobab Batik is 25 years old!

Els started Baobab Batik in 1991. Since then she has been working with the team to build the sustainable social enterprise we are today. We employ 35 women full time, each of them specializing in their field of the production or within our sales team.

We have many plans for this year, as we believe 25 years in business should be celebrated! And we will celebrate it baobab-style, by focusing on our core values of having fun, being thought leaders and innovators and by working together as a team.

Our celebration will be in September 2016. And leading up to the event we will show you more and more of what we have planned. Here comes the first sneak-peak of the preparations :)


Oliberté + Baobab Batik

We are proud to introduce you to our collaboration with Oliberté; a fair trade certified shoe company based in Ethiopia.

Over the course of the past year we have been developing and producing canvas fabric for Oliberté. It has been an exciting project for us for different reasons. Firstly; it is great to collaborate with partners who have the same focus on social enterprise as we do! Oliberté is the only fair trade certified shoe factory in the world! Secondly; it is great to see our fabric being used for footwear.

Part of our vision is to be innovative, to develop our methods and the way our batik fabric is used. Our collaboration with Oliberté is helping us fulfill this!

You can buy the shoes online at

The pot of melted wax

The pot of melted wax is a central part to our production. All our products are covered in one or more layers of wax, in order to create the patterns on the fabric.

One of the fifteen women working in the waxing department has dipped their brush in the wax over and over again, to apply the melted wax to the fabric. It is a time consuming process, demanding skilled artisans who are paying attention to the details. 

Waxing Pot.jpg

Glimpse from the past

Baobab Batik has been operating since 1991. In the beginning Els, our founder and creative director, ran the business from her back yard with only a few artisans on the team.

Els and Busi have been working together since 1991.

Els and Busi have been working together since 1991.

Since 1991 Els and her team has built the foundation of what is Baobab Batik today. We want to celebrate all the energy and effort contributed by all our team members over the years. All the contributions have resulted in a sustainable and secure workplace for the Baobab Batik artisans.

In the early days Els made many one-of-a-kind pieces, like this Baobab Tree.

In the early days Els made many one-of-a-kind pieces, like this Baobab Tree.