Goodbye Bead & Wire Collars...
It was around 1996 when the original founders of Ukuva first put the wire and bead collars on the sauce bottles - it was meant to be a bit of fun. But times change and people changed and for some time now, some of our long term customers have started getting complaints that the collars are seen as culturally insensitive.
The collars were meant to be an amusing decoration but sadly, it appears for some people it is about oppression, enslavement etc - and that is not what Ukuva is about.
There have also been concerns that the wire collars and beads are examples of 'overpackaging' - and does not send a great environmental message, although it was an excellent people and particularly 'differently abled', people story.
In recent years, it has become a very difficult process to manage (practically) and then CoViD lock downs forced the closure of the workshops.
While our nostalgic hearts will sorely miss the wire and bead collars, the contemporary side of our hearts know we're doing the right thing.
No more wire and bead collars means we had to take a sharp look at every aspect of the Ukuva packaging - and that led to some really exciting developments for 2022.
In the immediate future you will still see (or receive) some sauces with wire collars; some bottles in transition will have coloured shrink sleeves and early in 2022, the new 'look' will be phased in. Something to look forward to.
Thank you, wire and bead collars - at a rough count, over 26 years, you have been the brave cheerleaders for the sauces - nearly 2 million times over!
PS: oh - by the way - about 'cultural appropriation' - it is all made in South Africa (definitely part of Africa), by real Africans - that is why it is so very exceptionally awesome!