The Tribal Textiles team is delighted to announce that the company is under new ownership following a joint investor/management buy-out.
After nearly 30 years at the helm of Tribal, founder and owner Gillie Lightfoot is stepping down to pursue other ventures.
We are all grateful for the wonderful company she created and we will endeavour to continue to produce beautiful hand-made textiles and home interiors pieces from our home in South Luangwa, Zambia.
With renewed investment in the company, Tribal has lots of exciting new developments planned, not only on the design front but also in terms of our community impact.
We will continue to support local conservation and education initiatives and as part of our strategy we will be introducing a profit share scheme for all employees.
The new owners are current General Manager Kirstie Selfe, Zambian textile designer Charity van der Meer-Musoma, and Australian impact investor Julie Taylor Mills. They are joined on the board by Zambian environmentalist Dr Tasila Banda.
For more information about the Board please see the bios below.
We look forward to safeguarding the future of this vibrant sustainable company for many years to come.
JOINT OWNER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR: KIRSTIE SELFE
Kirstie holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Physiological Sciences from Oxford University in the UK. Starting her career at Nike, in their Sports Marketing Team, she then worked for many years as a sports web journalist. Prior to joining Tribal Textiles in 2011, she was employed as a Project Manager for a firm of interior architects and designers in London running high end residential renovations.
During her tenure at Tribal Textiles, she has achieved record Retail and Export revenues, and navigated the company through tough macroeconomic and regulatory changes. She was responsible for the design, building and launch of the business’ online shop in 2015 and the opening of the new Tribe outlet and the café and Artisan Market at the main workshop in 2017.
Her highlight of the last 9 years was seeing Tribal Textiles products being sold in Selfridges London in 2018!
JOINT OWNER: CHARITY VAN DER MEER-MUSOMA
Charity van der Meer-Musoma was born and grew up in Zambia. She is a fashion designer specializing in hand-made ecological garments, qualifying in Fashion and Knitwear Design at Nottingham Trent University of Art and Design (UK) in 2002.
Today, her contemporary designs are inspired by nature itself. Her mission is to create unique, natural, sustainable and wearable garments and to share this with others around the world. To produce her collections, Charity uses new ideas and techniques that are inspired by nature using durable and ecological products. She travels all around the world teaching felt fashion and felt techniques. Her contact with so many cultures encourages her ideas and inspires her towards new creations.
Her dream of sharing is her reality and this has led her to invest in Tribal Textiles. She is constantly stimulated through others with new ideas.
JOINT OWNER: JULIE TAYLOR MILLS
A native Australian, Julie has University majors in Economics and Japanese and post graduate qualifications in Environmental Management.
For two decades she has worked as a specialist consultant to NGOs, Investors and Company Boards seeking to drive better sustainability outcomes from the corporate world. With her husband, Julie now focusses on Impact Investing, providing capital and input to companies with the intention to generate a measurable beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
Julie has come to love the Luangwa Valley and her support as a donor to various organisations in the Valley has led to her investment in Tribal Textiles, a company she has admired since she first visited Mfuwe.
NON-EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER: DR. TASILA BANDA
Tasila lives in Lusaka, Zambia and is a highly qualified Environmental Consultant, Researcher and Scientist working with world-renowned institutions such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African Development Bank (AfDB), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Her expertise with natural resources, climate change, biodiversity conservation, conservation ecology, natural resources conservation and management as well as environmental and developmental policies means she is well placed to advise the board on environmental policies to ensure Tribal Textiles remains an environmentally conscious sustainable company.