Case study – Chi-Africa

2 min read

Scotland's Rural college at Scone
Chi-Africa – Recycled. Reused. Reclaimed.

A lot of people ask us what Chi-Africa means. The original answer is fairly standard. It is the amalgamation of Chichester, where they are based, and Africa where their products are produced. However, Chi-Africa has come to be an embodiment of a lifestyle for many of those involved with the company. Fundamentally, a company with a purpose and a great background story. Now in their 20th year.


In the beginning Chi-Africa was founded in 1999 after a family holiday to South Africa. Paul Hepworth met some independent artists and was taken back by their skill with scrap metal and their creative flare. He quickly established business links in Zimbabwe and attended his first UK flower show at Stansted House in West Sussex.

During the early 2000’s the company continued to grow. Then in 2004 they were invited to exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower show for the first time. They also began to employ local people as the business began to supply trade, garden centres and gift shops across the country. Regretably, the 2008 financial crash took its toll on the business, but Paul was keen to maintain the relationships with the artists in Zimbabwe. Sons Joe and Luke were brought into the business and he began doing more local garden shows.

Rebrand & “White Metal”

More recently, in 2014 Joe & Luke set about expanding Chi-Africa . The objective was not only to reach a wider UK audience but to increase the number of artists that they work with in Zimbabwe. Everything came together in 2015. Rebranding to focus on the company ethos of ‘Recycled. Reused. Reclaimed’ and discovering fresh ‘white metal’ sculptures in Zimbabwe coupled with a return to the trade market lead to rapid growth. In time, Joe & Luke managed to establish business relationships with large UK companies like The National Trust, The RHS, The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and many more. This meant production increases in Zimbabwe and an increase in artists to well over 30.

Chi-Africa has always believed in sustainable business. Offering good quality sculptures in the UK at affordable prices. The impact is widespread. In the UK they employ 10 people at their warehouse. The jobs are accessible for many people including parents and this is something they are very proud of. In Zimbabwe the impact has been genuinely life changing. For their artists, it has helped to build them to build their own homes and set real foundations for their families.

RHS Chelsea 2024:
Chi-Africa Chi-Africa Chi-Africa


In 2024 Chi-Africa are exhibiting at RHS Chelsea developing a garden to showcase their sculptures. We supplied Meadowmat Wildflower to provide a garden backdrop and to help encourage alternative lawns and green roofs.


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