Whilst researching synthetic riempies, I discovered Haldane Martin's Zulu Mama cafe chair. Haldane has won many awards for his beautiful furniture designs including the Birmingham Furniture Fair, UK Award for Best Dining Furniture, Elle Decor Award for Furniture Designer of the Year, Style Design Awards for Winner Multi-Functional Furniture.
Haldane is a designer with an environmental and social conscience, his designs are uniquely beautiful and he is passionate about exploring and incorporating the essence that is our beautiful country into his designs.
The Zulu Mama chair has a seat woven from recycled plastic by rural women in Limpopo. In a talk on his riempie collection, Haldane describes the cafe chair, with its rounded gathering basket form and its indigenous spiral weaving technique as a "celebration of the 'Archetypal Mother', an expression of owning his own nurturing capacity and also South Africa's more primal feminine roots.
In his latest Riempee collection of fabulous chairs, benches and tables, the weaving is done by partially-sighted elderly people at the Cape Town Society for the Blind. Haldane is so passionate about the subject that he sources the recycled plastic himself, it is made almost completely from recycled milk bottles! Says Haldane, "The collection and sorting of the old milk bottles also creates employment for many "bergies" in Cape Town!"
The morticed and tennoned frames are made from Kiaat, a Southern African hardwood also known as Wild Teak. "I always use southern African materials in my furniture designs as these materials, especially wood, have the energetic vibration of my home here in Africa."
Please visit Haldane's website to view some more of his beautiful uniquely South African furniture designs or you can contact Haldane on