Crochet designer Tanele Zwane among the winners in Woolies Youth Makers competition

Subtle T Designs by Tanele Zwane. Picture: Instagram.

Subtle T Designs by Tanele Zwane. Picture: Instagram.

Published Jun 10, 2024


South African crochet designer Tanele Zwane is making a name for herself as her craft gains more recognition in the fashion industry.

Zwane, who owns a sustainable fashion brand, Subtle T Designs, has been announced as one of the Woolies Youth Makers Competition for 2024. Launched in June 2023, the competition aims to find budding entrepreneurs and help them take their businesses to the next level.

With her unique and sustainable designs, Zwane was fortunate enough to be shortlisted as one of this year’s winners to receive the mentorship she needs to improve her product knowledge, market confidence, and business acumen and to help build solid foundations for the retail world.

“This is a milestone moment for us, and we are ‘hooked’ on the immense joy this recognition brings. It is a testament to the hard work, passion, and creativity that fuels our business,” said Zwane.

“Our hearts are ‘stitched’ with immense gratitude for this honour. We want to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who has been part of our journey so far.

“Your support, encouragement, and belief in our products have ‘woven’ a strong foundation for our success- we couldn’t have ‘knitted’ this success story without you!”

Crochet matching set by Tanele Zwane. Picture: Instagram.

Launched in 2018, Subtle T Designs is a brand that prides itself on slow fashion. While studying Fashion and Design at the Tshwane University of Technology, Zwane started crocheting to make extra cash before turning it into a fully-fledged business.

“In my first year, we were given a task on how to either crochet or knit as a side hustle while we studied. I looked up on YouTube how to crochet a purse, and within 30 minutes, I learned how to make this baby (referring to the first bag she crocheted).

“I showed it to my lecturer, and she told me I could make serious money should I hold on to this craft,” Zwane shared.

As a crochet designer, she is more focused on artisanship because its values are quality over quantity, and that’s what her brand advocates for.

Zwane is one of the 15 young entrepreneurs who were named the Woolies Youth Makers 2024.