Okapi’s ethos is rooted in the African philosophy of UBUNTU, which means “I am because we are.” In keeping with that ethos, all of what Okapi does is about farm to table, and uplifting the community.
Okapi is an African luxury brand, founded in Cape Town in 2008 by entrepreneur Hanneli Rupert. Each of their beautiful bags is designed, produced and finished to the highest standards.
From materials to manufacturing to finishing, all of Okapi’s operations take place in South Africa. The brand is a pioneer in the use of African game skins, like Blesbok leather. That Blesbok leather is treated and tanned specially for Okapi by a local artisan in the Western Cape, which means each style has a limited, exclusive run. Using these kinds of materials combines Okapi’s sustainability and low-waste mission with their view to make exceptional, authentic pieces.
The heritage craftsmanship Okapi strives to promote involves original Ostrich farming families and fourth-generation leather craftsmen. They work closely with weaving and beading communities, as well, and their ZenZulu wire horns are the result of a collaboration between Okapi and ZenZulu, which is a fair-trade project based in KwazuluNatal. Their beaded tassels are part of another collaboration with MonkeyBiz, an organisation that creates stable jobs for artisans through reviving traditional beadwork.
All of these relationships not only allow Okapi to create beautiful bags, wallets and backgammon boards, but they allow them to be completely transparent with 100 percent traceable materials. Their work contributes to the development of local rural communities, both through grassroots groups and collaboration, and small-scale initiatives focussed on farming and development.
Click the Butterfly Mark to discover the brand’s unique Positive Actions
Okapi has been awarded the Butterfly Mark for their measurable impact and company-wide commitments to sustainability.
Want to learn more? Click on the interactive Butterfly Mark on your left and scroll through each Positive Action to read a short description of the brands efforts and achievements as verified by Positive Luxury. You will also be able to find the interactive Butterfly Mark online on the brands website, retailer and partner sites.