The importance of having home-grown Zimbabwean brands can never be overstated. Zimbabweans are still seeing imports far outweighing exports. That is injurious to our economy. That is why whenever I see a Zimbabwean brand I feel glad. It is quite refreshing to see the emergence of more and more Zimbabwean brands. I have profiled several of them and will always be on the lookout for them. Today my focus is Pfeka which is a Zimbabwean clothing brand that focuses on African-themed clothing. Here is a recent conversation I had with the brand.
Who Is Pfeka?
Pfeka is a sustainable slow fashion clothing brand that brings elegance and quality into Africa inspired clothing. We find the balance of mixing the bold African prints and colourful patterns into our everyday clothes. We embed meaningful prints and patterns inspired by Africa’s heritage, culture, nature, the wild animals into the western fabric making them valuable, sustainable and suitable for everyday wear. We tell African stories in our clothes and thus preserve our history.
When And How Did Pfeka Start?
Pfeka was incorporated first as a sole proprietor in 2018 and then as a limited corporation in June 2020 with the Harare dispatch centre being registered at the beginning of 2021.
The Pfeka story began with Eglet while working in the corporate world and being one of the few women in the Engineering and Marine industry. She always wanted a unique wardrobe, especially after moving to Europe, she always made it a point to dress to represent.
She then grew a deep desire to have valuable clothes with a statement, uniqueness and identity, a wardrobe speaking for her and showing off her identity. These were then clothes with an African touch suitable for everyday wear as well as in the office and corporate meetings without being “too much”.
She could not quite find what she wanted in the market then – high-quality modern wear with a touch of African print. So she had to do something about it, and as she started to draw/design how she wanted her pieces to be, she enjoyed the whole process of designing and professionally producing clothes and knew had found her passion and calling.
She even went to design the Masvingo print, a fabric inspired by Great Zimbabwe to have a true representation of Zimbabwe through the clothes. This is how Pfeka was birthed.
What Services Do You Offer?
Pfeka is currently operating mainly as an online shop. We recently opened a dispatch centre in Harare, Zimbabwe. Our fully functioning online shop offers a convenient and great shopping experience to users around the world.
Our products take the normal western fabric, mix it with African inspired fabric with subtle prints and patterns and thus create unique clothes telling the stories showcasing African nature, flora and fauna, rich history, and heritage.
We celebrate culture, offering great value and meaning to our day-to-day clothes and thus encouraging sustainability. Our clothing line ranges from corporate wear, for both men and women, casual as well as activewear.
We wanted to not just use any other fabric called the African print. Thus we design in-house our fabric with actual African meanings or stories and the fabric is available to purchase as well.
We aim to change the status quo regarding African prints as well. We give options in the quality of products, in the type of material which made us make our fabric in classy velvet, silk, and so on, instead of the typical and mostly low-quality looking cotton. We aim to offer continuous designs giving improved finishes and packaging to improve the standards of the African brands.
As a clothing company, we also do custom designs upon request by our clients. Since we prefer perfectly tailored clothes, we make sure to get the measurements ourselves as getting clients to measure themselves was posing some challenges in receiving wrong measurements and thus wrong sizes. Clothing embroidery is also another great way of custom design that we do, offering company logos, totems and the like embroidered on the shirts.
How Big Is Your Reach Or Market?
Pfeka is a global brand; we have sold clothes to people from all over the world and of different nationalities. People enjoy the feeling associated with the Pfeka brand and we receive orders mostly from people with some African interests and expatriates. They miss home, Africa, and are always excited to get our next releases even making pre-orders before they arrive.
The target market we have is a niche one. We target the elite who appreciate rich stories in their unique wardrobe, people who are willing to pay for quality and value with sustainability in mind. We always believe if it is not high quality then why make it.
What Is The Team Behind Pfeka?
We are currently a team of five supporting the brand. We have dedicated personnel in sales and marketing, creative and quality control, administrative support as well as an external accountant who works with us as a consultant. Our bulk production is mostly outsourced as it is always best to benefit from the vast experience of others and the expertise in the market.
Currently, What Challenges Are You Facing?
To be honest, all our challenges are learning experiences. Currently, we have our production in Europe, and international shipping charges can at times limit the number of clothes you can sell because of the high cost associated with doing so. Issues like duty costs and taxes need to be accounted for and might end up with a costly product.
When doing business in Zimbabwe you have to be able to work around the currency challenges. The volatile local currencies and the conversion rates are a challenge to keep up with. It requires businesses to remain alert to current affairs and legislation.
How Best Can People Help Push Pfeka Forward?
Raising the brand awareness in growing the Pfeka family, be sure to comment and like our posts on social media and share the website! We invite people to be part of slow fashion, not just easy to discard type of clothes but clothes you value as they mean a lot even for the next generations. We have also focused on Zimbabwe as our target country and created a collection for Zimbabwe inspired by the country flag. We hope to reach a wider audience and be connected to more people interested in our brand.
Are You Open For Business Or Investment Partnerships?
In this fast-paced global business environment, there is no way any business can survive without this aspect. The clothing industry specifically always requires strategic partnerships. We are always willing to consider any mutually beneficial partnerships. We are a very collaborative and flexible brand. We wish to grow together with other brands as best we can. We can all succeed!
Anything You Would Like Everyone To Know?
Even though the brand is currently made in Europe, we aim to bring it locally to be made in Zimbabwe. We want to bring quality in African clothes so we will impart the knowledge and work ethics we are applying with our European partners to local tailors and partners. We do not want to only focus on the Pfeka brand, but to revive the whole textile industry so we can manufacture and export from Zimbabwe. The world is moving towards sustainable products. We have organic cotton and raw materials locally; we can certainly use and create Zimbabwean brands. Having a technical background, Eglet wants to take advantage of modern technologies and machinery to increase efficiency and quality in manufacturing clothes locally.