Local designers create sexy pet product line & upskill women

29 June 2016 - 02:00 By Roberta Thatcher
The best part about this constellation bull denim bed is that it is ethically produced.
The best part about this constellation bull denim bed is that it is ethically produced.
Image: Supplied

Local designers Benji + Moon have tailor-made a range of handcrafted, stylish items just for your fur friends

Tired of hiding away your pet beds and bowls every time you have guests over? Local company Benji + Moon feel your pain. Together with talented South African artisans, they have created a handmade collection of stylish pet products that can take pride of place in your home.

Founders Karen Carr, an Advertising Business Unit Director, and Hanneke Schutte, a filmmaker and blogger, noticed a distinct lack of beautifully designed, locally made products for dogs and cats.

‘We’re both crazy dog and cat ladies and we own seven dogs and a cat between the two of us! Our pets are part of our families and we noticed that most pet products out there are badly designed or covered in brightly coloured paw print textiles. Whenever we have guests over we always end up hiding our unsightly dog beds and cat dens.’

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In response to this need they set out to start Benji + Moon, a line of locally made, handcrafted dog and cat products, that are not only good looking, but ethically produced, too. The duo carefully seek out artisans and craftsmen and work with them in order to empower and uplift their partners.

‘We’re hoping that these craftspeople, some of whom we met on the side of the road, will be able to create sustainable businesses as a result of our collaboration.’

In addition to these artisans, they also work with an empowerment and upliftment programme called The Little Pine Tree, which teaches unemployed women skills, like crocheting, to help them generate an extra income.

They’ve also collaborated with prominent local artists like award winning felt artist Ronel Jordaan, to create a range of hand-felted dog and cat beds.

‘All our products are handcrafted and a huge amount of time and skill go into the making of each product. It’s a small artisanal collection for people who, like us, love their pets to the moon and back.’

Benji + Moon are proud to donate 5% of every purchase to CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare). CLAW provides desperately needed veterinary services to impoverished communities where conventional vet care is often unavailable. They also provide vital animal care education to pet owners in Johannesburg's poorest township areas, so these are pet treats you can really feel good about.

To find out more or buy their products online, visit www.benjiandmoon.co.za

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