Mevrou & Co. is a small tee shirt company based in Cape Town. We print uniquely South African expressions on high quality 100% white cotton tee shirts. The idea behind the brand is to enjoy each other’s otherness! The foundation of the company is incredibly effective Afrikaans slagsprake but we have subsequently introduced Jewish, IsiZulu and IsiXhosa designs. Expressions such as Se Dankie Vir Die Tannie, Deurmekaar and Lekker By Die See struck an immediate chord and we’re really proud that Mevrou & Co. is doing something to contribute towards South Africans celebrating diversity!
Over the 2 years that the brand has been developing, we’ve made our tees in Cape Town with one brief adventure to Durban. We don’t have our own factories but, outsource our production and QC (quality control) to various CMTS (cut, make and trim) and packing facilities.
The South African manufacturing industry is a bit of a war zone as it’s been devastated by Chinese and Indian imports. As a result, there’s not much competition and it’s punishingly difficult to deliver a quality tee at low prices. Rather unhelpfully, we’re also super strict with regard to quality control as we don’t accept certain defects that would, in many cases, be allowed by most other manufacturers. When we first started, we knew absolutely nothing about the manufacturing industry and it’s been a sharp learning curve with some painful and expensive experiences. One sad day, we had to reject 500 tees because the neck was made of the incorrect material and later on in our lives, another production run of 1500 units was wiped out by spirality. Nevertheless, ons kap aan, and, we made tee bags (Sorrie for that far too easy pun) out of our reject tees or sell the defect tees at 35% off as “schmutz” – a Jewish textile industry name for reject garments. People really appreciate that we are not wasting our tees and the discount which makes the product a bit more affordable.
The best thing about the Afrikaans sense of humour is that it is dark and that might be a reason why people love our tees! Afrikaners have the unsurpassed knack of seeing humour in difficulty! That is very good in these times.
Our dream would be to be a legacy company like Nik Naks! People have probably been using the expression “Lekker By Die See” for longer than they’ve been eating Nik Naks so why not!!?