Kelmik-PEP partnership

Published: FY2024

Crafting futures: How the Kelmik-PEP partnership is weaving growth into local manufacturing

Kelmik, a local clothing manufacturer, is a stand-out example of innovation and community development in Port Shepstone, highlighting the impact of local empowerment and sustainable growth. This pioneering black-owned, women-led business has recently joined forces with PEP, utilising the enterprise development initiatives of the larger Pepkor group. Their collaboration has created a vibrant new production hub dedicated exclusively to manufacturing baby clothing for PEP, advancing local manufacturing and enriching the economic landscape.

A strategic initiative for local sourcing by Pepkor
Pepkor’s comprehensive procurement strategy is executed through its retail brands, where a concerted effort is made to support suppliers that enhance the economic status of previously disadvantaged groups. In FY23, the group made significant strides by allocating R9.23 billion to black-owned SMEs, a substantial commitment to foster economic inclusivity. Kelmik, through its partnership with PEP, has become a prime example of how strategic corporate actions can facilitate profound community impacts.

Female founders and local economy development
Kelmik’s journey, driven by its female founder’s innovative spirit and leadership, has led to the creation of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that specialises in high-quality baby clothing, including baby grows, vests, and booties. The facility is set to produce three million units per season exclusively for PEP. This impressive output is supported by a funding provided by PEP, which has facilitated the purchase of advanced machinery and covered essential working capital needs, ensuring efficient operations.

More than just a manufacturing unit, this facility symbolises a deep commitment to nurturing local talent and fostering entrepreneurship. Kelmik’s workforce benefits from comprehensive training programmes provided by PEP, which equip them with the skills necessary to excel in the manufacturing sector and beyond.

The impact of Kelmik’s facility on local employment has been profound. It has created 150 jobs and significantly boosted Port Shepstone’s economic vitality through increased consumer spending on goods and services, which we anticipate will stimulate local economic growth. This initiative is a testament to PEP’s dedication to fostering trade and investment and supporting local manufacturing through thoughtful and strategic partnerships.

By dedicating its production to PEP, Kelmik ensures a stable production line and champions the cause of local manufacturing.

With their vision and determination, the leaders at Kelmik are not just building a business – they are creating a legacy highlighting women’s critical role in entrepreneurship and community development.

The establishment of Kelmik’s manufacturing facility is a direct result of Pepkor’s targeted investments, which in FY23 included R78 million in enterprise development initiatives. This facility cements PEP’s commitment to local sourcing within the South African Retail Clothing, Textile, Footwear, and Leather (R-CTFL) sectors.