Having already raised millions of Rands for charities and social upliftment, the Cape Union Mart Group is hard at work on its next goal – R3 million through the sale of simple beaded bracelets.

The bracelets are made by disadvantaged pensioners and youths – an initiative driven by 100% not-for-profit social enterprise the Relate Trust.

The money will be used to feed needy children, help fight breast cancer, and help eradicate HIV/ Aids and malaria.

More than 127 000 beaded bracelets have been sold in the Group’s Old Khaki, Poetry, and Cape Union Mart stores, in support of different charities.

Old Khaki branches have already raised R582 547 towards HIV/ Aids education initiatives by NGO Ikamva Labantu that focuses on at-risk communities.  

Funds from Poetry’s bracelets are going to charities supporting breast cancer awareness and women empowerment. Already R684 974 has been raised.  

The biggest success is Cape Union Mart’s own brand, which has raised R730 450 for the fight against malaria and for Ikamva Labantu’s Fuel2Grow programme to provide holistic support to schoolchildren in Cape Town’s townships. 

And the goodwill doesn’t stop there. Proceeds from the bracelets also assist the senior citizens who thread the beads, help educate young Relate staff in their chosen careers, and fund a variety of enterprise development initiatives.

“With the help of major brands such as Cape Union Mart, we are able to reach consumers who enable us to make a significant difference for organisations like United Against Malaria and others,” says Relate’s CEO Neil Robinson.

“At Cape Union Mart, we fund causes we believe to be significant in bringing about social change on a large scale, while building small local communities from the ground up.

“We are a company who is passionate about conserving and improving the lives of others. Equally, our customers love the Relate bracelets because they are fashionable, meaningful and a great gift for friends and family,” added Odile Hufkie, Marketing Manager for Cape Union Mart.

Relate’s philosophy is that lots of little gestures – such as spending a small amount on a bracelet at a till point - can add up to making a big change.

“We operate as a for-profit business and we sell products for social change, instead of relying on fundraising or handouts. Through our partnerships we can get our product to the consumers, enabling us to continue to grow and make a difference globally,” says Robinson. “Every bracelet sold adds up to make a meaningful and impactful difference.”

To date, the Relate Trust has raised almost R50 million for over 100 causes globally. This is from the sale of more than 2.6 million bracelets.