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About Big Blue
Big Blue was started as a POP up store in a flea market, around 1986. Philip and James needed to get out of a corporate environment and quick, Big Blue was their escape. Because of economic sanction at the time fabrics were limited so they started printing their own fabrics on SA made cottons using local craft techniques. Soon South African artists, printmakers, crafters became involved as well.
According to the duo: The school of hard knocks taught us most of what we came to know about the fashion and retail industry, and we still advocate to students that’s its one of the best routes into a sustainable proudly South African Business.
As the economy opened up we added ranges of more internationally inspired fashions but we have always stuck to our core styles and created an iconic range of fashionable prints, crafts and designs.
They opened their first shop in Centurion just a little over a decade ago and now have 21 stores! The philosophy is that Shopping is an experience, so the stores are all uniquely decorated, with Vintage and collections of South African memorabilia. They moved with the times and have taken this shopping experience online now, giving consumer the opportunity to purchase online.
Big Blue also offers select clothing ranges and almost all the gift ranges as wholesale. James figured: “If the Chinese where copying and selling it to our customers, why the hell not do it ourselves? So thanks for that.
Big Blue is environmentally and socially conscious and brings this consciousness into everything they do. They recycle fabrics where possible, use crafting groups like Hillcrest aids project, Diepsloot Crafters, Ilithuba, and Topsi Foundation. They use renewable bead jewelry from Mozambique, in support of a drug rehabilitation project. Newer shops have energy efficient lighting; timers for electrical appliances and air-conditioners.
Big Blue maintains jobs for South Africans, provides ongoing skills development and allows independent entrepreneurs an avenue to retail that they might otherwise not have.
Big Blue is an inspired brand that allows for individuality, randomness and quirkiness and is most definitely a Proudly South African Company!