Paris, the world renowned city of love, romance and of course, many people profess to LOVE the city. This is the home of fashion with the Paris Fashion week, one of the main highlights in the fashion calendar for designers and fashion magazine editors alike. So imagine the delight it has been getting a release from the Rooibos Council of an amazing feat achieved by a local who has had her hand-made purses, she produces from Rooibos tea bags, make it to a Paris fashion boutique. 

Gracious Dube

Gracious Dube

Gracious Dube (33) from Hout Bay (Cape Town) has always had an eye for fashion.Not in her wildest dreams would she have imagined her handmade purses from Rooibos tea bags being sold as a hot fashion accessory in Paris of all places. No surprise that one of the reasons Dube uses Rooibos tea bags in her design is because it’s her favourite tea. “I love drinking Rooibos and it was whilst drinking a cup that I came up with the idea of creating a purse from tea bags. Initially, I tried making it with lots of different tea bags, but the Rooibos tea bags were ideal. Not only do they give my purses a beautiful rich colour, but they also tend to be a lot stronger than other tea bags,” she remarks. 

The budding designer has  seen the positive results of the work she has been doing as she now has a flat in Hour Bay where she resides with her son and her mother, and is in a position to pay for her son’s education as well. The founder of T-bag designs Jill Heyes is credited for transferring valuable business skills to Dube such as basic principles of marketing and pricing her product as well as maintaining a high level of quality with her work. 

Gracious Dube's recreated rooibos teabag purse being sold in Paris

Gracious Dube’s recreated rooibos teabag purse being sold in Paris

About T-Bag Designs 

Original T-Bag Designs is a company that started out as a social responsibility project by founder, Jill Heyes, to help impoverished women from Imizamo Yethu (an informal settlement in Hout Bay) to earn money, by making unique arts and crafts from tea bags and boxes. The company makes ‘Functional Art’ out of recycled tea bags. As per their website, the  “used tea bags are dried, emptied, ironed then painted.These miniature works of art are then applied to stationary, wooden items like boxes, trays and coasters and even fabric items.”

Learn more on their website: