Our Ethos

Tribal Textiles works to create sustainable impact in South Luangwa, Zambia
through creativity and craftsmanship by going beyond fair wages,
reinvesting in community strengthening initiatives, and supporting local wildlife conservation.

Tribal Textiles Artisans Hand Painting African Home Textiles In Our Workshop

Ethically Handcrafted


Each of our products is made by hand with respect for the environment and people.

From design to production, we minimize our environmental impact by sourcing locally, using sustainable materials, and repurposing waste.

We go beyond fair wages, providing artisans with the support and resources they need to thrive.

Rooted In Community


Community is at the core of everything we do. Located in a remote region of Zambia, we believe in creating a sustainable impact through grassroots development.

We strive to strengthen our small, rural community by providing artisans with opportunities, creatively supporting conservation, and investing in local initiatives.

Tribal Textiles Founder Gillie Lightfoot On The Banks Of The Luangwa River
Colourful design and contemporary hand-painted textiles by Tribal Textiles covering an African mud hut in a village in South Luangwa, Zambia

Inspired By Africa


Our hand painted textiles blend traditional Batik techniques with contemporary composition and bold colors.

From the animals that roam the land we live in to the iconic motifs of Africa’s vibrant heritage, our textiles draw inspiration from the culture and wildlife that surround us.

HOW WE OPERATE

We are on a mission to design a community in which the wildlife and people of Zambia thrive and live in prosperous harmony. Providing employment and a source of income to people in a region where wildlife roams the land and jobs are scarce decreases the risk of poaching and deforestation. People living off the land are more likely to lay snares or cut down trees than those with a steady stream of income who are able to pay for basic necessities and put food on the table for their families.

FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND MEDICAL CARE

Each of our employees receive a fair monthly wage, annual paid leave, sick pay, bereavement pay, housing allowance, travel allowance, and benefits that extend beyond their contract. Building on a culture of health and wellness, our employees receive a nutritious breakfast and fresh lunch prepared daily just for them.

We believe in the importance of access to healthcare. We provide our employees with free HIV screening. If an employee tests positive for HIV, we fund their regular follow-up visits. This allows all employees the ability to care for their health and continue working when they otherwise would not be able to.

GENDER EQUALITY

Research shows that women are more likely to invest their earrings in education and household needs. So, we have made it our mission to employ more women. By challenging gender norms in an area where women typically stay at home, over one third of our employees are female.

Building on our commitment to lessening the gender gap, we provide every woman we employ with a packet of sanitary pads made from bamboo and absorbent fabric that can be reused. This sustainable option reduces the need to buy expensive, single use pads. These products enable women, including their daughters to work or go to school full time throughout the year.

AN EDUCATIONAL WORK ENVIRONMENT 

Most of our employees have been with Tribal Textiles for more than a decade. We believe in the importance of providing employees with opportunities for career development through skills training, promotions, and leadership opportunities.

This commitment is best seen by example. In 2019, Tizaonana, our beloved former Head of Starching, left the company after 20 years to go back to school to pursue his dream of becoming an art teacher. We hope to see more of our employees seek out their dreams.