Our Environmental & Sustainability Journey

Tsonga - Be Better

We are not perfect, we are simply on a journey to become a better business everyday.

What does that mean? Simple.

If we can do one thing each and everyday to help us become a more environmentally minded and socially conscious business, imagine where we will be in the next 20 years.

At Tsonga we dream big. Our journey started more than two decades ago when our goal was to create a brand that believed there was more to business than profit.

We wanted to produce everything in South Africa thus creating jobs at a time when our industry was being decimated by cheap imports from the East. It was founded on John F Kennedy’s words: “A rising tide lifts all boats”.

We were told it couldn’t be done.

We were told it was a waste of time and money.

Well… Over twenty years later, look at where we are.

We have sold our product to the worlds leading retailers: Nordstrom and Amazon to name a few. We distribute our product around the world and have managed to build up a 19 store retail business that is growing everyday.

We still deal with our original distributors in Australia who were our very first customers right in the beginning. They believed in us and we believe in them. This really just proves that in a world based on fleeting conversations and fast fashion, there is still room for relationships, loyalty and a product that is built to last.

In fact, we believe more than ever, this is the future.

Tsonga store staff always greet with a smile
Tsonga store interior - beautiful leather shoes bags and accessories

We have taken pause and reflected on our first 20 years, and though we have made mistakes, lots of them, we still believe more than ever that what we set out to do is still as valid as ever.

Our leather bound story is born out of an ambition to create an international footwear and accessories brand with humble roots and a strong African heritage. Tsonga wholly embodies a collaboration of passionate people, their creativity and their talents to bring about a positive difference in society.

We have started to evaluate our supply chain and we only want to work with ethical suppliers who want to be part of this journey with us. It is a continual work in progress and something we constantly strive to improve on.

As we started to discuss what we could do we realised that this journey to “Be Better” has no end: from stopping the use of single use plastics in our business, to looking for suppliers of recycled sole materials and turning our fabric marketing materials into handbag carriers.

All of our leathers are sourced from suppliers who are Gold & Silver status members of the Leather Works Group (LWG). The LWG provides, maintains and develops environmental auditing protocols which assess the compliance and environmental performance of leather manufacturers worldwide whilst promoting sustainable and appropriate environmental business practice.

Beautiful leathers, sourced from Gold status Leather Works Group members
Handlacing shoes - a beautiful art that Tsonga is renowned for

Our efforts to improve at all costs are boundless.

With South Africa's unemployment rate now sitting over 35%, we understand the value of every cent for our employees. We also understand the value of their time. That is why, since the very beginning, it has been our moral obligation to pay our people above the stipulated minimum wage rates as set out by our country.

We are far from perfect and still make mistakes everyday but our goal is simple:

“Be Better Everyday”.