Terms & Conditions



For 15 years Source has provided an unparalleled service, supplying Southern African handmade products to the leading retail brands around the world. Delivering artisanal merchandise, under the rigors of international requirements, has earned Source a highly respected and trusted reputation in the industry. The majority of design export from Southern Africa is facilitated by the Source team.

As a small, focused organization, we work with integrity and empathy, and have an efficient, reliable approach. With discretion, confidentiality and commitment to our clients’ needs, we ensure that South African products remain fresh, original and exclusive in the global marketplace.

The South African Design industry is relatively young, as experience in packaging and logistics is still growing, and pricing is considered higher than in other ‘craft’ territories. However, South Africa offers a rich and elevated choice of design, craft and art, as all products are handmade and carry the essence of the producer. The unique, ever-evolving assortment is provided by organizations with social merit and meaningful values – creating an authentic, important narrative that translates into a truly inimitable product offering.

It’s important to appreciate that the terms laid out in this document are a direct response to the conditions and circumstances of the South African Supplier. Please review and confirm acceptance of the various points outlined herein.


Trevyn McGowan

Source Founder and CEO

Sourcing and Product

  1. Source has a database of over 150 suppliers covering most categories of homeware, gifting, accessories and fashion across all handmade manufacturing processes, including ceramics, blown glass, textiles and embroidery, wood, beadwork, felting, baskets and weaving, wire work, papier mâché, wood, furniture and lighting.
  2. In addition to products manufactured in South Africa, we also source product from Mozambique, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mali, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and a number of other countries in Africa.
  3. Source attends all local trade shows and markets, and travels regularly around the country to studios, manufacturers and stores to find emerging new talent to ensure that our information remains relevant and that we maintain our position as the undisputed authority on Southern African design and craft for the global retail market.
  4. Product presentations are made through client shared Dropbox folders with price lists, catalogues, high resolution images, biographies and press coverage. We also send regular ‘new product releases’, issue two seasonal direction reports a year with corresponding ranges, and make suggestions for special promotions, in-store projects, client briefs etc.
  5. From 2018, Source will be available online as a unique, comprehensive ‘B to B’ ordering portal with over 5000 images, all pertaining information that includes pricing, dimensions, materials, pack sizes and a constantly evolving range selection. The news page will provide the most authentic stories and inspirational imagery from Africa. Our design background, and years of experience working with the best retailers around the world, has given us an insight into trends, merchandising and the ongoing need for newness in the homeware market.
  6. Source facilitates all aspects of Buying Trips around South Africa including local flights and travel, accommodation and meals, inspirational visits, meetings with suppliers, sampling and trip recaps. It is important that clients have as authentic an experience of the South African design industry as possible. The trip is planned to be efficient and productive, while including a vivid and dynamic exploration of all that the country has to offer.
  7. Source plans regular international trips for client meetings, presentations of new product to buying departments, and to exhibit and showcase product at fairs like NY Now, Ambiente and Maison&Objet.

Product Development

  1. In addition to our ongoing independent product development and design direction with various suppliers, we undertake specific product development on behalf of our clients.
  2. We give advice on the best suppliers for a specific project, monitor the development so that progress is made quickly and only relevant images/samples are sent, assist with design direction, and ensure that the design collection remains exclusive to the client in the future.


  1. Source co-ordinates all sampling requirements, both at the request of a buyer for review meetings, and in line with a clients vendor manual (including top/approval samples, press samples etc).
  2. Samples are either sent with our preferred shipper/courier or on a clients account, and can be consolidated for a lower cost or sent directly from each supplier when timing is critical.
  3. We maintain active records of the sampling process to ensure that samples are delivered on time, to the correct department, and that feedback is given timeously to suppliers for changes/production approval. The sample register (SR) provides an accurate record of products of interest for future review.
  4. Source will endeavour to obtain samples free of charge from the supplier. In the case of expensive items, products from smaller artisan companies or non-profit organizations, samples may need to be paid for.
  5. The cost of sampling will always be approved with the client before processing.
  6. Unsolicited samples will never be sent at a cost to the client.


  1. There are no USA approved testing facilities in South Africa and so Prop 65 and FDA tests are done by SGS in India. Only at a clients’ request will a specific line of product be tested. Source co-ordinates the testing, the test items will be provided free of charge, and the courier and tests costs are for the clients account.
  2. In all the tests we have undertaken since 2006, no product has ever failed, and so it is fair to say that South African manufacturing processes and base materials are of a compliant standard.

Labelling + Ticketing

  1. Unless otherwise stated, prices do not include the cost of presentation or printed packaging, labelling or re-shippable cartons. These can be quoted on a full specification from the client detailing carton construction, printing design, inner padding requirements etc.
  2. Product is supplied with branding and client/co-branding can be negotiated.
  3. Barcode ticketing is undertaken, although supply is not currently available in South Africa and so we request that barcoded tickets are supplied by the client.


  1. Only one SKU is packed in an inner carton. Master cartons will also be packed with one SKU. Mixed SKU’s are only packed in a master carton when they are the last units of an order packed together to maximise shipping efficiency, unless requested otherwise.
  2. Inner quantities will have been agreed to with the client and supplier prior to packing.
  3. Inner cartons are not re-shippable and are single wall. Outer cartons are double wall, and are strong enough for safe transit and handling.
  4. Inner and outer cartons are clearly marked with carton labels showing: supplier name, product name, SKU, PO number, no. of units, colour, description and country of origin. Client specified carton labels can be used if details are supplied.
  5. Merchandise will be tightly held in place within the cartons to ensure no movement in transit. Bubble wrap, aerothene, carton card, shredded card, and unprinted paper may be used to pack in inner boxes. Shredded paper, newspaper, recycled boxes will not be used.
  6. Wherever possible, cartons will be palletized and shrink-wrapped to regulation height.
  7. Desiccants will be used to pack wood products and other products vulnerable to moisture/mold.
  8. All wooden products will be fumigated with required certification.
  9. Source is committed to comply with the specifics of the client’s vendor manual with regard to packaging requirements. Wherever possible, deviations will be discussed and agreed upon.

Pricing and Purchase Orders

  1. Minimum order value is $3000, or €2500 for landed pricing. If for any reason an order less than our stipulated minimum is accepted, 100% payment on placement of the order is required.
  2. Source can provide FOB South Africa pricing and shipping/airfreight quotes, or work with the client’s nominated shippers. Source will consolidate a number of client orders to minimise the shipping cost ratio.
  3. There are annual price increases issued between January and March each year, and price lists are sent out to clients each year. If orders have not been placed for some time, please be aware that prices for a line will probably have increased. Confirmed orders will be processed at quoted prices and notice will be given of any intended price increase for future order
  4. Quotations do not form a binding agreement for either party. POs (purchase orders) should be issued listing the Source product codes and sent to orders@source-sa.com. We will return a SO (sales order) that will list all details of the order and will include thumbnail images for reference. This will serve as acceptance of the order and we would ask that you please check all details to ensure that we have received all POs issued and that all specifics are correct.
  5. Final lead times will be dependent on the location of a clients DC, whether the goods are airing or shipping, and the size of an order. A general lead time is around 8-12 weeks production and 5-7 weeks shipping, 10 days airfreight.
  6. Source can accept PO’s and payment in either $USA, £UK or ZAR(South African Rand) and price lists can be submitted to the client in any of the three currencies.

Order Monitoring and Inspections/Quality Control

  1. Please take into consideration that South African products are handmade and there may be slight variances in colour, finish, size or shape. These variances are minimal and acceptable within ‘handmade’ parameters and add to the beauty and uniqueness of the product.
  2. Source will update the WIP regularly and immediately advise the client of any issues, delays or concerns, and negotiate on the delivery date accordingly in extreme circumstances.
  3. South African export shipments are usually made up of consolidated PO’s for several suppliers and so a delay from one supplier may have a knock on effect on the whole shipment. Generally orders from South African and Swaziland suppliers are on time, fulfil all quantities and have no issues around quality, size discrepancy etc. Orders that are originally sourced from other countries in Africa can be delayed, arrive in SA short-shipped, not comply with specifications and be rejected, and so it is essential to be aware of these issues when considering these products.
  4. Source liaises with all suppliers on the WIP each week, to ensure that they are on track for scheduled collection, and assists in all ways possible with any issues. Source will liaise with the client should any design query, deviation, material issue arise to ensure that the most suitable solution is reached and that we have full client approval for any changes.
  5. Source will always train a supplier in the initial procedures and protocols for export and the criteria for “defects and workmanship” rejections. We will regularly make visits for order and shipment inspections, random inspections, product development, buyers visits and will ensure that quality checks, correct packaging, labelling and drop tests have been satisfactorily met, as well as will immediately bring to the client’s attention any concerns or discrepancies arising.


  1. Source will discuss shipping options with the client’s logistics department and can liaise with the client’s nominated shipper or suggest our preferred shippers to provide quotations/negotiate rates.
  2. Source will co-ordinate the collection of orders from around South Africa. working with transporters and your nominated shipper.
  3. Depending on the size of the order and urgency for delivery, we will agree with the client for either an airfreight, LCL or FCL shipment. We can provide quotations for all options, and agree an FOB port for consolidation.
  4. Source will supply the completed inner and outer carton labels, the packing list and invoice based on the information obtained, and issue to the supplier and the shipper. In this way we ensure that all documentation is complete and accurate.
  5. We work on a shipping WIP in advance to ensure collections from remote locations are scheduled, palletized and fumigated, with documentation lodged, a container release programmed and an agreed ship date and vessel confirmed.
  6. We work with the shipper to ensure that the Goods Received Note(GRN) ties up with our packing list, that all weights, dimensions and carton quantities match, and that these documents are submitted for release of payment.
  7. Source will confirm that the PO, Pack List, GRN, Bill of Lading and Invoice all match exactly and that no discrepancies are present.
  8. The commercial invoice will list full material content, HTC codes, full product description, address of manufacturer, freight terms, true value of product, SKU and PO numbers and buyers details. A Lacey Declaration, FWS and fumigation certificates will be obtained where necessary.
  9. Once the ship has sailed, we will notify the buyer and the client’s forwarding agent of the sailing details, we will ensure that the original Bills of Lading and associated certificates are couriered to the forwarder, and that a copy is sent along with the packing list, invoice and original PO to the accounts.
  10. The client has sole discretion with regard to the methods and costs of shipping, freight consolidation, packing and forwarding expenditure.

Payment terms

  1. Unless otherwise agreed, a 50% deposit secures a purchase order. The remaining 50% order value, and agreed shipping costs if the order is FOB, are due on the client receipt of the Source invoice/statement and the GRN (goods receipt note from the shipper) confirming that the complete purchase order has been dispatched. Final payment needs to be paid on delivery of your order.
  2. Source no longer charges an agency commission, and the full cost due will be the price on the clients purchase order.
  3. Payment can be made by EFT/wire transfer to our South African bank account, by Paypal or credit card. Cash or cheques are not accepted. Interest will be charged on late payments of a final invoice, at 10% up to and for each 30 day period.

Inconsistencies, Faults and non-delivery

  1. Source will facilitate resolution of “post purchase” disputes arising from, but not limited to, quality, packing, shipping, and non-delivery.
  2. If merchandise is shipped to the client that is either defective or does not meet the order specifications, Source will arrange a credit note, refund or replacement with the correct product.

Compliance and Clients rights

  1. Source will ensure that suppliers comply with the policies and Code of Conduct of the client.
  2. Source warrants that all suppliers are in compliance with the laws of the country (and the United States) governing the use of child labour, fair working conditions, minimum wages etc.
  3. Source complies with all applicable laws, regulations and requirements applicable to the importation of merchandise to the United States and Europe or elsewhere, and ensures that all necessary export licenses, certificates of origin, documents, and information necessary for importation are compliant and current.
  4. Source is dedicated to sourcing merchandise from suppliers, wherever possible, who provide evidence of utilizing renewable and sustainable resources, as well as energy saving and “green” sources of materials.
  5. Source agrees to comply with all requirements of the clients ‘Vendor Manual’ or to highlight areas of concern/non-compliancy and find mutually agreeable solutions in these areas.
  6. Source is not authorised to independently make price offers, or enter into any financial arrangements that might contractually bind the client without the express written authorisation of the client.

Confidentiality, Exclusivity and Intellectual Property

  1. In the course of this business relationship, the client will provide Source with certain product design, financial and other confidential information and materials. The client will also provide Source with periodic written and verbal information about the business of the client. Source in return will share details on their, and their suppliers, products, business practices and financials. Both parties agree that they will not disclose any of this confidential material, information or intellectual design property, to any third party without the express written consent of the client or of Source, whichever the case may be.
  2. Source agrees to return all design, intellectual property or business materials provided by the client promptly upon request by the client. The Client agrees to return all design, intellectual property or business materials provided by Source or their suppliers, promptly upon request by Source.
  3. It is understood that all images, samples, prototypes and orders are sent to the client in good faith, and that the designs remain the intellectual property of and belong to the designer/Source unless a contract for purchase of these designs is agreed upon. This can be an outright purchase allowing the client to reproduce the designs with no further payment to the designer, or a signed agreement allowing the client the right to produce under license from the designer with a royalty payment structure.
  4. It is understood and agreed that under no circumstances whatsoever will the client reproduce designs supplied by Source either digitally or physically, without a prior agreement in place.
  5. If a client would like to produce a product “inspired” by a design supplied by Source, the client will propose this product/range in writing to Source.
  6. If the client has provided specific samples or design briefs and Source supplies product that is directly in line with design developments produced to a clients design brief, this product will remain exclusive to the client unless otherwise agreed to in writing.
  7. If a suppliers standard product is supplied to the client and agreed to as an exclusive product, Source will not supply that range to anybody else without permission from the client.


  1. Source undertakes to supply detailed company background stories, high res product, process and portrait images for all suppliers, PR and media purposes.
  2. If required, Source can supply quotations for catalogues, booklets or promotional material to the client’s briefs, for specific projects, exhibitions or promotions.
  3. Source undertakes to liaise with a client’s press office or directly with specified media to arrange supplier interviews, photographic sessions etc.
  4. Source undertakes to co-ordinate samples for PR purposes.

Clients and References