The price of our masks
Codiv-19 is a global disaster. Yet we believe that there is something positive to be found even in the midst of a tragedy. We started Mzansi Masks in February 2020 as a way for us to discover that positivity. We delivered masks throughout South Africa - and some abroad too - and we are proud of the small business we created during lockdown.
In 2020 we rebranded as Mzansi Beautiful and we offer a range of beautifully hand made South African products crafted by creatives, makers and small business people throughout our beautiful country. We strive to bring these items directly to your door and promote and support small businesses and makers.
We are a for-profit organisation. We strive to offer products that are needed and that are of high quality. We want to help enable local suppliers (CMT shops, couriers, etc) to support themselves and their businesses. Nevertheless we are very aware that we should charge a reasonable price.
To manufacture masks at a larger scale than home-made manufacturing requires many inputs. Here is a list of some of our costs, to give you a better understanding of what goes into manufacturing our masks.
- Raw materials. We have to source our raw materials in a competitive and highly restricted market. We need to ensure quality at all times and visit our CMT's to check and oversee processes and outputs. This requires commensurate time, investment, care and expertise.
- Marketing costs. This is a very significant component of our costs but it is critical if we want to reach a larger group of people. We also have costs for maintaining our website, our social media content and for producing product photography. We communicate daily and this takes time and effort.
- Operational costs. We have to pay monthly and per-transaction fees to the company that provides our e-commerce platform. We pay transaction fees to our payment provider for every product we sell. We have numerous expenses related to operating a business venture from accounting, administration, human resources, rental, staffing, etc.
- Manufacturing costs. This is the cost our CMT's (Cut Measure Trim businesses) charge us to manufacture our masks and other products. The CMT's we work with are able to employ dozens of garment workers and others in the supplier chain. We produce on an industrial scale and are not sewing masks at a sewing machine at home.
- Labour costs. The time it takes us to pack the masks, label them and prepare them for distribution, address queries from clients and ensure we can fulfil our orders and get them to our customers soonest takes time and has associated costs. Our team is working during a pandemic and taking the necessary precautions to ensure we can provide essential services in the form of high quality masks that can be delivered to our customers doorsteps as soon as is possible in a challenging environment. Our team are leaving their homes and families to work and ensure we can get our masks to our customers.
- Quality control and expertise. We have to quality check our production lines. If items are not up to standard they are rejected. We have to ensure our delivery is as seamless as possible in a COVID-19 environment and we have the necessary permissions, follow safety precautions and deliver our products. We handle daily queries on our products, our delivery timelines, changes to orders and other ways we try our very best to assist each of our many, many clients.
- Depth of expertise. Our founding team are experts with 30+ years each building their domain expertise. This ranges from garment manufacture, technology, design and large scale garment production and quality control, to logistics and distribution, marketing, social development, management and e-commerce.
- Giving back. We contribute to community, nonprofit and government efforts to get masks to under-resourced communities through discounted rates and donations.
- Risk. We buy raw materials in bulk. And we run the risk of not being able to recoup the money if we cannot sell our products.
If you are able to sew masks at home using materials you have at hand, you should definitely do so. If you prefer the convenience of purchasing a ready-made, high-quality product online for delivery to your door, we would love to have you as a customer. When you buy from us, you are supporting every person in our local supply chain, buying Proudly South African and helping to 'flatten the curve'. Thank you for your support.