Here’s to the arty ones

Art challenges us, sets us apart from the masses and makes us grow. Art is unique. We are all a piece of art. This makes you an artist, just like us. Artists bring ideas into the world, share their views with others and let them experience and engage with their unique look onto our world. We enable these expressions; sometimes outspoken, sometimes subtle–always honest.

Life is defined in the way we express and manifest ourselves.

So here’s to you, to your path, your piece of art.

Khula means ‘growth’. A name that originates in the desire to give a platform to the views of our artists; local South Africans coming to grips with the contrasts that surround them, in order for society at the large to experience and engage with their work.

Artists’ paintings, illustrations, graffiti and photography are reproduced by digital print or hand-painted directly onto the bags. Each bag tagged with it an insight into the work and background of the artist thereby enabling wearers to engage directly with the artwork and spread the word about the artists involved.


Never underestimate a small group of people wanting to change the world – for indeed, they are the only ones that ever did.’

– Margaret Mead

Khula came to life when our founder Moniek van Erven moved from Amsterdam to Johannesburg and fell in love with its rhythm, diversity and people. She felt the need and desire to give a voice to the alternative narrative expressed in the artworks of South African artists – providing a canvas for their work, a ‘voice’ for their stories and providing additional income for the artists with an honest share for the sale of each bag.

In discovering the South African art scene, she found a country struggling to reconcile a tumultuous past with an uncertain future, yet bursting with potential and hope – yet a lack of platform for the voices she encountered to engage a larger worldwide audience. As an experienced social entrepreneur she seized the opportunity and got to work.

So here we are.

We’ve gathered a community of talented, like-minded individuals, to make sure that everything about Khula is about growth through art.

Printed inside the bags is a poetic description of the artwork.

Our photo shoots have an artistic edge.

Our models exude art.

Our designers are artists.

Our artisanal bags are assembled by hand into high quality pieces of wearable art.

Moniek van Erven

Do reach out to Moniek on, she’s happy to connect and exchange thoughts!

is Made By

Here’s to the arty ones

The bags are assembled by our small-scale Cape Town manufacturer. We specifically chose this small manufacturer because of their social and environmental sustainable practices. They provide a good living wage and pleasant working conditions to their employees, as well as opportunities to their families living in the Cape Town townships. Meet some of our seamstresses, fitters, and finishers:

Our Bags

Here’s to the arty ones

Our unisex bags are available in six designs: Khula Shopper, Satchel, Holdall, Carryall, Backpack and Laptop bag. The bags have been designed to effectively showcase the works not only for the enjoyment of the wearer, but for the appreciation of all who pass them by. You wear a piece of art. The leather serves as the frame of a canvas in a gallery: to enhance the beauty of the artwork, without distracting from it.

The new designs are the result of requests from fashion and art lovers out there, looking for a way to express their vision, or to distinguish themselves from the masses.

Our Bags
are Made of

Here’s to the arty ones

High quality, locally sourced materials – Our bags are made in South Africa with locally sourced raw materials and high quality brass fittings. We use strong snap hooks to hold your keys or to hold the sling, and a YKK zipper that will last a life time. All our leather is waste material from the meat industry, using environmentally friendly vegetable dye.

Environmentally friendly printing techniques – We use 100% cotton twill and high quality canvas, and we print the artwork with environmentally friendly solvent free water based ink. The printing method we use doesn’t need pre-treatment and has almost zero wastage. An environmentally friendly weather and dirt proof coating will keep the print beautiful, crisp and clear.

Locally sourced vegetable dyed leather – As said, the locally sourced leather is a by-product from the meat industry, cow hides used are vegetable dyed with environmentally friendly chemicals by a high quality South African tannery.