Gogo Olive was started in response to unemployment issues in Zimbabwe. Gogo Olive employs women living there to create knitted stuffed animals and keychains called shamwaris. The idea is that knitting is something that can be done anywhere, and does not have a huge overhead cost (so it is sustainable). Shamwari in the local language (shona) means “friend” and these cute stuffed animals make great friends for children and adults alike.
What started with a handful of women has grown, and now shamwaris are being made by almost 80 Zimbabwean women. Some are living in the villages, some are caring for orphans and kids in need, and some are part of a rehabilitation program while they are in prison. Each shamwari comes with a picture of the woman who made it on the tag, a customized sweater colour, and a name that the creator gave that particular animal. As the purchaser of a shamwari you get to see the exact person who is benefiting from your purchase.
Real people in real places are affected positively or negatively by what we buy, and we love that Gogo Olive is putting a face to business, so you can see whose life is being changed by your purchase. We are very happy to be a distributor for GoGo Olive in Canada, and to sell on their behalf.
All GoGo Olive photos on this page were used with the permission of GoGo Olive and are not to be copied, reused, or reproduced.