At Poetry, our customer is at the heart of everything we do. From the designs to the fabrics, a team of people works together to put out sustainable pieces that’ll stand the test of time.

The Green Thread Studio is the in-house design studio for the Cape Union Mart group. It’s an essential and innovative part of the company that places trust, innovation and passion at the centre of everything it does.

Janina Blomerus, the Head of Design at Green Thread Studio, oversees all the locally manufactured pieces from start to finish – from design to pattern drafting and fabric selection, she guides her team to achieve the exceptional results that are displayed in our stores. 

The Green Thread Studio Factory in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town is where the vision comes to life. Launched in 2022, 46% of the pieces sold by Poetry are manufactured at the Green Threads factory, with sights set to increase this number to 65% by 2030. As the name suggests, the focus of this studio is to create ethical and sustainable pieces while supporting the South African economy and as such, a vast majority of elements are produced locally – from our in-house designers creating the beautiful Poetry-exclusive prints, to working with local companies to manufacture premium quality garments.

Janina sees sustainability through a slightly different lens, as she believes that a sustainable piece is something that will last for multiple seasons in your wardrobe and look as good as it did the day it was purchased. In a world where fast fashion, micro-trends and low-quality fabrics and finishes are the norm, Janina and her team go the extra mile to ensure that each customer receives a piece that will stand the test of time. 

We’re very proud that we’re able to do our bit for the economy and environment – we’ll always opt for eco-friendly fabrics, like linen, to reduce the impact on the environment. The off-cuts from our manufacturing processes are donated to organisations like the Amy Foundation, Rewoven and FEDISA as they’re able to rework the pieces into something useful and avoid excessive waste that ends up in landfills.

People are at the heart of what we do at Poetry, and an internal training school has been established within the Green Thread Factory with dedicated educators who work to teach unemployed, and unskilled people the ins and outs of being a machinist. Within six months, they’re multi-skilled and can work on a production line where at least 14 exclusive styles are manufactured weekly.

The training provided to all staff at the factory is all-encompassing and works toward the overall goal of holistic education through upskilling willing employees, which in turn advances their families and extended communities. Every person involved with Green Threads Studio (including senior management) must undergo the training and take a small test to receive a certificate of completion. The belief is that if every team member understands the role of other departments within the space, there’s a higher level of respect and understanding between departments, resulting in significantly higher-quality finished products. 

The Green Thread Studio factory has around 300 team members who work in-house, and the factory works alongside external suppliers like CMTs, washhouses, trims suppliers and printers of around 100 people who all put their expertise together create the beautiful pieces available in store and online. To give some perspective, for each team member that’s employed at the factory, 10 people on average are supported in their community.

Rest assured that when you’re purchasing a piece from Poetry, you’re not only supporting a brand, you’re also doing your bit to live a more sustainable life for the benefit of future generations.