The Ivili Loboya Wool Processing Hub is a 3 500 square meter (11 483 ft) facility based at rural Ibika, near the town of Butterworth in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The establishment of the factory marks the revitalization of Butterworth with economic transformation driven by highly experienced industrialists, global researchers and market specialists. Central to this venture is the social entrepreneurial ethos led by the African woman Founder, and a practical application of harmonization of profits with people and planet.
The Ivili Loboya factory is well positioned to harvest from over 3 million communal sheep (majority women) farmers in the Eastern Cape. Of further value are the improved shearing facilities and flock management supported by the South African government, also facilitated by the National Wool Growers Association. Ivili’s inclusive value chain model also draws on the well-established agricultural industry in South Africa known for consistently generating high quality, environmentally sound products for international markets. In addition, Ivili Loboya serves as a wool supply hub for BKB in Butterworth. This adds value to the diverse Ivili Woven and Non-Woven offering.
Dr. Vuyo Mahlati, Ivili Loboya Founder and Executive Chair, highlights “our unique production approach, which combines well-managed and directed, labour intensive, ecological sheep and goat farming to produce cashmere – by both communal and commercial farmers – with modern technological innovations, which derive from ancient local and global skills and practices. This model is changing the current picture of export of 95% of South Africa’s grease wool.”
The Ivili Loboya plant builds on the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR Material Science and Manufacturing) research and incubation resulting in a collaboration agreement for advanced product development and commercialization of wool and cashmere.