Naledi Copenhagen is a high-end accessories brand with a passion for classic style and exclusive materials. Our designs are unique, discreetly luxurious creations, inspired by personal sense of style, and made to be loved and treasured for many years to come.
Naledi is an international brainchild of two friends, Italian Mary Sini and Ukrainian Natalka Hansen, who met each other while living next door in Cape Town. Having educational backgrounds in astrophysics and political science, and coming from fast paced careers in large multinational companies, the couple could claim to be possibly the most unlikely duo to ever start a fashion brand.
Yet it was the combination of the beautiful ostrich leather and the prospect of artisan manufacturing in South Africa, that inspired Mary and Natalka to stray away from the established careers into the exciting world of new and unknown, and create their first collection. That’s how Naledi began, back in 2008.
South Africa is world-famous for it’s luxurious ostrich, but the beauty of this leather is far from being its only attraction. It is an ethically good choice. Unlike most other exotic species, ostriches are not endangered and are 100% farmed. Ostrich farming is a sustainable operation, where the leather is a co-product of the meat industry. Apart from leather and meat, ostrich feathers, fat and eggs are also important commercial products, as is the extensive tourism industry, created around the ostrich farms. Ostrich farming creates thousands of jobs in rural areas of South Africa. This combination of exclusivity and sustainability makes it stand out among other exotic leathers, such as python, lizard or crocodile, many of which are sourced from wild, even endangered animals, regularly causing a storm of valid criticism directed at the fashion industry.
For their first collection Natalka and Mary chose a lesser known type of ostrich – rough and scaly ostrich leg leather – to show that the highly popular, and same time highly critisized “reptillic” look can be achieved without any ethical baggage – by using 100% sustainable ostrich leather.