Welcome to Karu Slippers. Our family-owned business, Woodheads, was founded in 1867 by Sir John Woodhead as a leather merchant. 150 years later, Woodheads is still thriving with a store in Cape Town’s East City.
In the late 1960s, nearly 100 years after Woodheads began, Karu Slippers was born. Our starting products included sheepskin slippers and boots, animal toys, rugs and floor mops. Since our main business was as a leather merchant, we kept the production of sheepskin items fairly limited.
Karu Slippers gradually outgrew its original production location (a small room on the Woodheads premises) and moved to its current space. In the 1980s, sheepskin boots and slippers were the height of fashion. The increased demand meant that KARU SLIPPERS continually refined its styles and materials for the local market. It was at this time we received a contract to supply a retailer, albeit a small one, with products. This allowed us to improve machinery, processes and establish our quality standards for raw materials.
In the early 2000s, we decided to rebrand the sheepskin slipper section of our business to Karu Slippers. The decision to rebrand came about as a means to differentiate our business from the international brands and clone imports which were flooding the market at the time.
Although we have grown quite a bit since we established the brand, our production remains limited to maintain our quality standards. We also allocate a percentage of our production to private labels. Our products are available from our website, our retail shop in Cape Town and select independent retailers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the desirability of our slippers, as everyone is currently spending more time at home. Customers are now able to shop Karu Slippers via our new online shop.