Home Decoration and Home Textiles South Africa

The goal of this programme is to help home decoration and home textiles producers from South Africa to do more business in Europe and in their own regional markets. It is part of our integrated country programme for South Africa.

South Africa’s home decoration and home textiles sector has a lot of potential for export to Europe. The producers in our programme have good design skills. They also have access to a lot of raw materials. We are helping them to aim for higher-end markets in Europe and regionally. That way they will get higher margins.

Home decorations and home textiles usually involve a lot of manual labour. This means that growing exports in this sector can create a lot of jobs, especially in poorer rural areas.

Project details

This programme began in 2013 and will end in 2018. In the first year, we selected and audited participating companies. The purpose of the audits is to find out a company’s  strengths and weaknesses. After that, we began to give the companies training and coaching. We are also working with business support organisations to strengthen the sector as a whole.

One of the training topics is product development. By developing new products, these companies can offer what buyers in Europe want. This means working on design and learning new production skills, for example. Many of the companies in our programme are good at combining traditional methods with innovative design.

All of the companies have implemented their own social responsibility plan. This means (European) buyers can be sure the workers enjoy good social conditions. Some of the companies in the programme are getting fair trade certification.

Most of these companies started exhibiting at European trade fairs in 2015: Ambiente in Germany and Maison et Objet in France. These are important international trade fairs. We have also explored the Scandinavian market. Many of our exhibitors have already started exporting.

Project participants and products

A total of 27 companies are taking part in this programme. They offer many different home decoration and home textiles products. For example: carpets, other furnishing textiles, glassware, ironware, wooden products, ceramics, lighting, jewellery, fashion accessories and small furniture.

Meet the participants

  • You can contact CBI to get in touch with these exporters.
  • Another possibility is to meet these potential suppliers at the next big trade fairs we will attend with them in Europe. For more details, contact CBI.


The home decoration and home textiles sector in South Africa is quite fragmented. We are working with two well-established partners to strengthen the sector. We are also helping these partners to further professionalise their services to exporters.

The CCDI was set up in 2001 to support the needs of creative businesses in the Western Cape, and to grow the region’s craft and design sector. This not-for-profit company is a joint initiative of the Western Cape Government and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

The SEDA was established in 2004 by South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It provides business development and support services for small enterprises.

Get involved as an importer

Are you a European importer interested in home decorations and home textiles from South Africa? If you are, you can contact CBI to get more information, or to meet with potential suppliers who have been trained for export to Europe.

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Programme Manager

Michiel Zimmer Ask your question

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