Presenting........the world's first beaded suit!

25 Oct 2011

The Hillcrest AIDS Centre’s income generation craft project, Woza Moya, this week revealed the world’s first beaded suit. The suit was handmade by over 40 women from several communities in the Valley of 1000 Hills region, and is made up of over 400 individual patches of bead work. International award-winning fashion designer, Terrence Bray, designed the suit, and the project was sponsored by Pinetown-based company greenOFFICE.

The project, which spanned eight weeks from conception to completion, was designed to provoke thought and commentary on green issues, according to Woza Moya Manager Paula Thomson. “We wanted to make a spectacular, one-of-a-kind artwork that would speak strongly about green issues, that would stop people in their tracks, and would encourage them to think about our environment,” said Paula. The project provided an income for the 40-odd women who contributed to it.

The suit consists of a suit jacket, pants, a top hat and an isagila (a traditional Zulu walking stick).  The team hopes that the suit, believed to be the first of its kind on the world, will provoke discussion locally and nationally around environmental issues, and the business world’s responsibility to ‘go green.’ Words and phrases related to green issues are featured on the suit.

“Our creative vision for the suit is that it may speak to people about the future ‘green’ possibilities. The man in the green suit is a man who works in a green office that conducts a clean energy audit at the end of the year, he uses alternative energy, eats slow food and has started a trevolution. He recycles, re-uses and is constantly trying to reduce his carbon footprint. Through the suit we are holding up this image of a ‘green lifestyle’ so that we all may aspire to move close towards it,” said Paula.

The suit was modeled by Skhumbuzo Gcwabaza, Office Administrator at The Hillcrest AIDS Centre, and was photographed by Durban photographer Matthew Willman. The suit left Durban on 24 October headed for Cape Town where it will feature in the Positive Heroes Fashion Show.

For interview opportunities, provision of photographs or further information, please contact Latoya Landers or Paula Thomson at Woza Moya. Ph: 031 765 5866 or email