Mia Mélange is a proudly South African brand that handcrafts interior décor and lifestyle products, using predominantly 100% cotton rope. Our team of talented artisans makes high quality baskets, bowls, planters, bags, ottomans, and more! We aim to create high quality handcrafted products, by using the best local materials we can find. Each one of our products is carefully designed and produced with great care and attention to detail. Our designs are inspired by a love for nature, texture, natural materials and ancient crafting techniques. We like to combine all of these to create modern and functional designs. We make all our products in our studio in the Winelands town of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Mia Mélange believes in empowering women and creating opportunities. We are passionate about our local community and strive to create jobs for previously unemployed women in our area. We aim to teach our talented team members valuable skills, provide with an ability to earn a decent income, and empower them to be independent and able to support themselves and their families.
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Mia Mélange believes in sourcing local, sustainable, high quality materials. Most of our products are made from 100% cotton rope. The cotton is grown locally in South Africa by farmers who are members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). The yarns are spun in South African mills. The rope is braided locally in Cape Town.
The Better Cotton Initiative is a non-profit that promotes better standards in cotton farming. Cotton from licensed BCI Farmers is more sustainably produced. BCI meets UN's goals to achieve better global water sustainability and sustainable agriculture. BCI also promotes use of better irrigation practices with farmers, reducing the use of fertilisers, as well as fair work practices.
Cotton is a true renewable source of fibre. "Cotton has been used as a fibre for more than 7000 years! Unlike fossil based fibres, cotton is sustainable, renewable, biodegradable, and carbon neutral and can be used without depleting or damaging the environment, thus making it an excellent choice as an environmentally-friendly fibre throughout its entire product life cycle." - Cotton South Africa.
For some of our products, we dye the cotton rope. The dye we use passes the requirements of the ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® certification. OEKO-TEX® provides an independent tool to manage and verify the chemicals towards greener chemistry.
ACA Threads, a company that is committed to running their business in an ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner, manufactures our threads in Cape Town. One of the ways ACA Threads reduces their carbon footprint is by utilising the unused land on their factory premises to plant olive trees. To date they have planted 1000 olive trees to help reduce the greenhouse gas CO2 from the air and offset their emissions. ACA also has a Zero Landfill Project which has kept more than 300 cubic metres of polypropylene from entering the landfill. In 2013 ACA Threads installed a solar water heating system for the dye house and in 2015 a 131kWp photovoltaic solar power system was installed. They also have a Water Recharge Project and a Borehole & Water Purification Project.
THE MIA MÉLANGE NAME
Mélange means mixture / blend in French. It's also a type of yarn that is commonly used in the textile and fashion industries. The yarn is typically made up of different kinds of fibers, or different colored fibers, which are blended together in a certain fixed ratio. When applied correctly, mélange yarn can be knitted or woven into a rich multicolored / textured fabric, which can be used for various purposes. The idea behind the name 'Mia Mélange' arose out of a desire to create a collection of eclectic products, with a strong emphasis on the bountiful world of textiles.
Mia Mélange makes a range of home décor and lifestyle accessories. Our home ware range includes bowls, table baskets and lidded baskets in a variety of sizes that are used for storing items such as keys, jewellery, television remote controls, bedside table accessories, cotton wool in the bathroom, stationery or business cards in the office, or fruit and vegetables in the kitchen. We have a collection of placemats and coasters for the dining room.
The larger bowls and baskets are used for storing items such as hand towels, bathroom essentials, kids toys, hair dryers and straighteners, and magazines. The medium and large floor baskets are used as laundry baskets, or to store blankets or throws, towels, toys, and are often also used for larger pot plants. Mia Mélange makes a range of pot plant holders, including hanging planters.
We also make ottomans and lampshades. Mia Mélange has a range of bags, including shopper bags, clutch bags, and net bags. We often make custom products for interior designers for installations in homes, lodges, hotels and offices.
Mia Mélange products are made by coiling cotton rope and stitching it in place. We use high quality, tightly braided rope with tight stitching to achieve rigid shapes. Our team of artisans is taught how to sew in this manner, and how to shape the products. We are able to achieve a range of shapes, including round bowls, cylindrical planters, large floor baskets, oval baskets, rectangular baskets, uniquely shaped clutch bags, net bags, and even hats and jewellery.
We use the natural cotton for most of our products, which results in a beautiful ivory colour. We use two methods to achieve different colourways. The first is using dyed rope in our products, and the second is by using different colour threads. We also sometimes use natural jute rope with the ivory colour cotton rope.
MIA MÉLANGE TODAY
The Mia Mélange studio, where we handcraft all our products, and an adjoining retail shop, is located in Stellenbosch’s historical town centre. We also have a retail outlet at the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Mia Mélange supplies handcrafted products to selective design shops across South Africa. Our products are stocked in exclusive stores all over the world.
See our STOCKISTS page for the stores we supply across the world.
We supply interior designers across the world. Our products have been installed in lodges, hotels and homes across Southern Africa, Rwanda, Madagascar, Europe, the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
Mia Mélange has been featured in the media many times, in print and online. Our products have been exhibited at various national and international expos. Recently, one of our products, exhibited by Mbare Home + Gift, won a Best New Product Award at the Handmade® Global Design section of NY Now in New York in February 2019.