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Sisi Footwear Catalogue 2019 | Vol 01

Sisi Ladies Workwear Catalogue 2019 | Vol 1

Sisi Fall Arrest Catalogue 2019 | Vol 01

Sisi Safety Wear Terms of Service


1. Terms

By accessing the website at http://www.sisi.co.za, you are agreeing to be bound by these terms of service, all applicable laws and regulations, and agree that you are responsible for compliance with any applicable local laws. If you do not agree with any of these terms, you are prohibited from using or accessing this site. The materials contained in this website are protected by applicable copyright and trademark law.

2. Use License

  1. Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials (information or software) on Sisi Safety Wear's website for personal, non-commercial transitory viewing only. This is the grant of a license, not a transfer of title, and under this license you may not:
    1. modify or copy the materials;
    2. use the materials for any commercial purpose, or for any public display (commercial or non-commercial);
    3. attempt to decompile or reverse engineer any software contained on Sisi Safety Wear's website;
    4. remove any copyright or other proprietary notations from the materials; or
    5. transfer the materials to another person or "mirror" the materials on any other server.
  2. This license shall automatically terminate if you violate any of these restrictions and may be terminated by Sisi Safety Wear at any time. Upon terminating your viewing of these materials or upon the termination of this license, you must destroy any downloaded materials in your possession whether in electronic or printed format.

3. Disclaimer

  1. The materials on Sisi Safety Wear's website are provided on an 'as is' basis. Sisi Safety Wear makes no warranties, expressed or implied, and hereby disclaims and negates all other warranties including, without limitation, implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement of intellectual property or other violation of rights.
  2. Further, Sisi Safety Wear does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on its website or otherwise relating to such materials or on any sites linked to this site.

4. Limitations

In no event shall Sisi Safety Wear or its suppliers be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data or profit, or due to business interruption) arising out of the use or inability to use the materials on Sisi Safety Wear's website, even if Sisi Safety Wear or a Sisi Safety Wear authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage. Because some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties, or limitations of liability for consequential or incidental damages, these limitations may not apply to you.

5. Accuracy of materials

The materials appearing on Sisi Safety Wear's website could include technical, typographical, or photographic errors. Sisi Safety Wear does not warrant that any of the materials on its website are accurate, complete or current. Sisi Safety Wear may make changes to the materials contained on its website at any time without notice. However Sisi Safety Wear does not make any commitment to update the materials.

6. Links

Sisi Safety Wear has not reviewed all of the sites linked to its website and is not responsible for the contents of any such linked site. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Sisi Safety Wear of the site. Use of any such linked website is at the user's own risk.

7. Modifications

Sisi Safety Wear may revise these terms of service for its website at any time without notice. By using this website you are agreeing to be bound by the then current version of these terms of service.

8. Governing Law

These terms and conditions are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of South Africa and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in that State or location.

Privacy Policy


Your privacy is important to us. It is Sisi Safety Wear's policy to respect your privacy regarding any information we may collect from you across our website, http://www.sisi.co.za, and other sites we own and operate.

We only ask for personal information when we truly need it to provide a service to you. We collect it by fair and lawful means, with your knowledge and consent. We also let you know why we’re collecting it and how it will be used.

We only retain collected information for as long as necessary to provide you with your requested service. What data we store, we’ll protect within commercially acceptable means to prevent loss and theft, as well as unauthorised access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.

We don’t share any personally identifying information publicly or with third-parties, except when required to by law.

Our website may link to external sites that are not operated by us. Please be aware that we have no control over the content and practices of these sites, and cannot accept responsibility or liability for their respective privacy policies.

You are free to refuse our request for your personal information, with the understanding that we may be unable to provide you with some of your desired services.

Your continued use of our website will be regarded as acceptance of our practices around privacy and personal information. If you have any questions about how we handle user data and personal information, feel free to contact us.

This policy is effective as of 4 September 2018.

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YKK Zippers:

Sisi Safety Wear makes use of YKK zippers, a global leader in fastening products. This quality selection improves the durability of the garments, enhancing their longevity. YKK zippers conform to SANS 1822 standards.

Triple Stitching:

All conti suits and boiler suits have been manufactured with triple stitched seams, ensuring enhanced durability against wear and tear. All pockets have been double stitched with bar tacked stress points for added strength and improved storage capabilities.


Our Reflective and Tri-reflect ranges are engineered utilising VizLite™ Dual Technology, the leaders in reflective tapes. VizLite™ is certified to EN 20471:2013 and ANSI 107:2015 international standards for high visibility clothing.
View the benefits of using VizLite™ Dual Technology


Meets the Standards of the South African Bureau of Standards.

Fabric Treatments:

Flame Retardant

Our flame retardant range is chemically treated to ensure that the material has the ability to self-extinguish upon the removal of an ignition source, such as a flame or spark.

Da Gama

All 100% cotton garments within the Sisi work wear range are manufactured using fabrics sourced from Da Gama Textiles, one of the largest and most established consolidated textile producers in South Africa. Sisi is dedicated to supplying quality women’s work wear made from SABS-approved fabrics.

100% Cotton

All 100% cotton fabrics used in the Sisi Safety Wear range are proudly sourced in South Africa.

Latest News

#SalutingIndustrySuperwomen | Week 2

August 16th, 2019 by

In case you missed last week’s post, this Women’s Month, we’re celebrating and saluting the formidable women within the BBF Safety Group who help shape and contribute to the safety industry.  They opened up about the challenges they’ve faced in a male-dominated industry and how they’ve overcome them.

Here are this week’s featured BBF Safety Group Superwomen:

Sharonessa Kemp- Senior Supervisor

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

Being promoted to a Senior Supervisor.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

My greatest challenges have been overall inequality and a lack of acceptance.

  • How have you overcome these challenges?

I had to work twice as hard to gain respect and feel like part of the team amongst men.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

I’ve been in the industry for almost 25 years and have grown such a deep passion for every aspect of my work. That is what drives my commitment.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

I think women have been so influenced by media and opinion and as a result, often think that big, important job titles are only for men. We must change our mindset, set bigger goals for ourselves and go for them – any women can achieve anything in life.

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

Believe in what you want so much that it doesn’t have a choice but to materialise.

Virginia Qobo – Production Coordinator

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

I’d say it’s been overcoming challenges to get where I am today. When I look back and see how far I have come, I feel that there is nothing impossible, there’s nothing that a woman can’t do. When you say you can do it, you’re right. If you say you can’t do it, you’re also right. You must go for it and believe you can.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

There have been many challenges along the way. Times when you don’t feel as accepted as men or as respected. But whenever I see a challenge, I see an opportunity. And that’s when I prove to myself that I can do it. There is no challenge that we as humans, and as women cannot overcome.

  • How have you overcome these challenges?

Staying strong and positive is what’s helped me overcome these challenges. You must face every challenge head-on, go the extra mile to overcome them and find the lesson in every challenge.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

When you do something that you don’t like, you won’t do it right. I love what I do. I treat my work and my workplace as though it was mine – how I would want to treat it and go the extra mile if it was my own business. I don’t treat my work as though I’m only here for a salary. I want to have a positive impact on everyone I come in contact with.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

This industry is about helping others. The more you help others, the stronger you make them and the stronger you become yourself. I think that women in this industry have the power to inspire other women – to help them be stronger. I think women often think differently to men or have different ways of doing things. If they work together, put their minds together, I think women and men can add a lot of value and achieve anything they want to.

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

Women must go out there and not be afraid to join a male-dominated industry. Not everything is easy, but everything is achievable – you can do it. You are strong enough to do it. You must push yourself to reach your goals and your potential. Whatever a man can do, a woman can do.

I believe women can do it even better than men. (laughs)

Samantha Dewraj – Credit Control Supervisor

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

I have a lot of highlights at BBF. The most exciting one for me is being a part of a team and organisation that’s so dynamic and diversified in what they do, not only does the business focus on its key customers, but also works to grow its SMME partners. It’s exciting to be a part of an organisation that’s really going to great heights.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

Change. I think a lot of people are very old school, so changing the way that they do things and changing their mindset is a big challenge. In the industry, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and more innovative ways of doing things and of pleasing customers. Often when you suggest a new way of doing things, people aren’t always very receptive to change and it’s often met with resistance.

  • How have you overcome these challenges?

I try to give my team enough training and be a mentor to them and guide them in what is required. I think it’s important to give them coaching and counselling, to upskill them and give them the tools and support they need to overcome these challenges related to changes in the organisation. As an individual, I’m very motivated – you can’t motivate your team if you aren’t motivated yourself. I try to benchmark myself against other industry leaders in terms of how I support my team to make sure I’m always at the top of my game and that they are benefitting as much as possible in the long term in their careers.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

I really do believe in the brand. The best part about my job is that I get to interact with people at different levels and departments. I love seeing the huge talent pool that we have amongst us and I believe that, through using the strengths of our people, we can really grow and thrive as a company, which is really exciting.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

With more and more women joining the workforce in South Africa, I think that having more women in this industry is important to understand and cater to the specific safety needs of women, and can also give us – as a business – a competitive advantage. After all, who knows women better than women?

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

The best way to predict the future is to create it. You’ve got to persevere, push yourself and upskill yourself – feed your mind. You’ve got to constantly keep abreast of what’s happening in the industry, what’s happening around you. Stick to your guns and go out there and achieve your goals.

Sisi Salutes Industry Superwomen

August 9th, 2019 by

For more than a decade, Sisi has been proudly servicing the workplace safety needs of female workers.

As one of BBF Safety Group’s market-leading brands, Sisi supports the right of women in industry to safety wear that’s designed specifically to suit the needs of the female anatomy, as opposed to that of their male counterparts.

The Sisi range of safety footwear, workwear and most recently, fall-arrest systems, gives women the freedom to work with the comfort and dignity that they deserve, allowing them to focus on the task at hand by eliminating distractions caused through ill-fitting PPE.

Industry women have spoken and Sisi has heard them.

This Women’s Month, Sisi celebrates the formidable women within the BBF Safety Group who make a remarkable contribution to the business and the manufacturing industry at large. Each week this month, we’ll be featuring several of these women who opened up to us about their journeys to where they are today, the challenges they’ve overcome and why they remain fiercely committed to the safety industry.

Here are this week’s featured BBF Safety Group Superwomen:

Wendy Vaaltyn – Production Supervisor

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

Having the opportunity to work for and grow with the business for 25 years has been an amazing experience. I have felt such appreciation from the company for my potential, ability and loyalty.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

Shifting the mindset of some employees around female women in the industry – especially in leadership – has been my greatest challenge.

  • How have you overcome these challenges?

I’ve always believed in having an open door policy to listen to employees’ concerns and issues and show genuine concern for the wellbeing of staff. I think that this has definitely helped with winning them over to accept me as their leader.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

(Beaming with pride) Wow, I just love my work. I love working with people. I love this business.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

I think it’s important for women to empower themselves and be independent. The fact that an industry is male-dominated shouldn’t dictate their right to be in that industry.

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

We, as women, must speak up when we feel unhappy, so that issues around gender inequality can be heard and changed.


Lena Baloyi – Factory Supervisor

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

I can say that I honestly find my job interesting and fun, particularly the work for the medical industry – manufacturing bandages, sourcing raw materials and booking orders. I think that loving my work is the highlight for me.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

People don’t always treat you the same as the men you work with. They don’t always take you as seriously or value your opinion as much. It takes a lot of work to prove yourself.

  • How have you overcome these challenges?

I make sure that I’m strong, that I always put in the extra effort in everything I do and always stay positive. I try to remember that I have the power to set a good example to all those around me.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

Knowing that I’m helping people and helping to save lives, that is what this job is about for me and why I’m committed to it.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

I think women need to change the thinking that women belong at home and that this industry – and other industries – are only for men. It’s a tough industry, but women are also tough and can do the job.

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

Empower yourselves. Whatever you do, do the best that you can. You can do anything.


Beryl Snyman- Finishing Supervisor

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

My highlight was definitely becoming the first female Supervisor in the Finishing Department. With the company now having more female Supervisors, it shows how we are growing in gender equality.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

I think that the need for physical power in the industry has been a challenge. Sometimes you need to lift or carry something very heavy that a man may have more physical strength to do. I am lucky that my department is actually female-dominant, so we don’t experience a lot of the  issues that a lot of women in the industry experience, like being pushed aside.

  • How have/do you overcome these challenges?

I think that being a shop steward before this role taught me to speak up, so when I need something or have a problem, I speak up and voice my opinions to be heard.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

When you work with people every day, you form relationships with them and they become your ‘family’. So, when I get up for work, I feel like I’m leaving my family at home, to come to my other family at work. And, like any family, we have our ups and downs, but I’m committed to my work family.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

I think there’s a need for more women in upper management in the industry because I believe that a woman can do anything that a man can do. I believe that it’s time that we start learning to voice ourselves and to show people that we are capable of doing anything and shouldn’t be undermined.

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

Persevere. Perseverance takes you a long way. It teaches you to learn and how to handle situations and challenges better.


Sisi unveils Fall Arrest System for women

July 31st, 2019 by

Extending its commitment and support to women in industry, Sisi unveils a new product range – fall arrest systems for women working at heights.

Sisi Safety Wear has taken yet another step in its effort to support women working in industry by unveiling a range of fall arrest systems (harnesses with permanently attached lanyards), specifically designed for women who work at heights.

“This is a very exciting move for Sisi, which once again underscores our commitment to women who work in traditionally-male dominated industry sectors. We believe that women should have access to Personal Protective Equipment that has been designed to fit the female anatomy and not that of their male counterparts,” says Vanessa Ronald, Senior Brand Manager at Sisi.

The leading local manufacturer of women’s PPE has unveiled five different harnesses in its Core and Core+ Ranges, adding to the already trusted line of Sisi-branded protective clothing and footwear designed for women.

The Core Range offers three standard harnesses with permanently attached, single- or double-leg shock absorbing lanyards, with snap or scaffolding hooks, while the Core+ Range includes two belted harnesses with permanently attached, double-leg, shock absorbing lanyards with snap or scaffolding hooks and adjustable shoulder straps.

Sisi Fall Arrest Specialist, Ruaan Breedt, explains that what is especially unique about the Sisi Fall Arrest range, is its consideration of the female form through the development of its adjustable and elasticated chest strap. For women, the risk of injury does not stop when the fall does. If placed below the bust area, polyester webbing (typically found in men’s harnesses) can rise aggressively up and over the bust at the end of a fall resulting in secondary injuries to the wearer.

“By replacing the polyester webbing in the chest strap with an elasticated webbing that stretches in the event of a fall, we are able to substantially reduce the pressure on the bust area,” explains Breedt.

Another consideration of the chest strap that illustrates Sisi’s understanding of its users, is its adjustable feature. “Women with larger bust areas have shared their dissatisfaction of wearing chest straps that sit under their bust, further eccentuating their breasts amongst a largely male workforce. By allowing them to move the chest strap they are able to position it in the area that is most comfortable to them, thereby increasing their confidence and focus on site,” states Ronald.

“With the rise of women entering into industrial environments once dominated by men as traditional gender-based barriers are steadily coming down, there has never been a more pressing time to acknowledge the difference between the anatomy of men and women and their need for gender specific safety wear,” concludes Ronald.

The Sisi range of Fall Arrest Systems are proudly manufactured in South Africa and available to order through leading PPE distributors. To view the range visit www.sisi.co.za

To view the Sisi fall arrest range click here

Sisi teams up with the Stellenbosch Municipality and the Department of Education

June 25th, 2019 by

Sisi Safety Wear and the Stellenbosch Municipality provided much-needed sanitary products to underprivileged girls, who often miss school during their periods.

In commemoration of Youth Month, Sisi, a safety wear brand for women within the BBF Safety Group, has partnered with the Stellenbosch Municipality and the Department of Education to donate reusable sanitary pads to 427 girls, across seven schools, in the greater Stellenbosch area.

The brand, which has brought much needed awareness around the differences between the anatomy of men and women and the need for gender specific personal protective equipment in the workforce, to improve productivity and comfort to working women, wanted to address the issues surrounding absenteeism of young girls from school due to the unaffordability of sanitary hygiene products when menstruating.

According to a study by the Stellenbosch University’s Law Clinic,  about 30% of girls in South Africa miss  school when they are menstruating, because they cannot afford sanitary products.  As such, a girl could lose about 90 days of schooling a year, due to issues relating to menstruation.

Many can’t catch up on vital schoolwork, ruining their end-year results, and their chances to earn grades that would qualify them for tertiary education. “This is such an exciting project. It’s not just about donating sanitary pads to these girls; it’s about giving them a future. As a rising number of working women enter into areas once deemed the preserve of men, it is important that girls receive a solid education that sets them up to receive a tertiary education in the fields of commerce and sciences,” says Vanessa Ronald, Senior Brand Manager at Sisi.

Along with professional organisations, such as Sonke Gender Justice, a South African-based non-profit organisation working throughout Africa, the initiative is also educating these girls about the changes that occur in their body once puberty begins, and to reassure them that menstruation is a natural process that every woman goes through. It further touches on issues relating to a girls right to protect herself and her body from advances by men that make them feel uncomfortable.

Supported by the Department of Health, nurses from the clinics in the area explained the right that these young ladies have to healthcare and encouraged them to seek advise if they were experiencing problems or had further questions relating to menstruation and the changes that occur in a young girls body as they enter women-hood.

“What’s even more exciting is that we have formed a partnership with the Stellenbosch municipality and the Department of Education to expand our reach on an annual basis and encourage other key players in industry to get involved to make a difference,” says Ronald.

Stellenbosch Municipality Communications Manager Stuart Grobbelaar says the municipality is aware that absenteeism from school due to a lack of sanitary products is a reality for many.

“We therefore wanted to get involved in this initiative in a sustainable and collaborative way that builds relationships and connects with different stakeholders instead of just gathering donations to be dropped off at schools,” he says.

The reusable Subzpads are developed, designed and manufactured by Sue Barnes, founder of Project Dignity, and are made of five layers of specialised fabrics. “It’s an all-fabric product that uses no chemicals or gels for absorption, and is essentially a health product that is also eco-friendly,” she says.

“We think long and hard about how to allocate our CSI funds as we don’t just want to be a corporate that signs a cheque; we want to understand the challenges that are facing a community and provide sustainable solutions. These pads were specifically chosen because they are reusable and are designed to last for five years. As a result, we reduce the monthly demand on sanitary products by these young girls, which in turn allows us to expand out reach,” concludes Ronald.

A social worker has welcomed the initiative, saying it’s vital that the scourge of period-related school absenteeism be addressed and that girls are also taught about the changes to their bodies during puberty, setting them up to make more responsible decisions during their schooling years.

She says, “When young girls experience their first period, they are often unsure of what is happening to them and think that they are suffering from a disease. They even fear that they are dying.”

A principal of one of the participating schools has also welcomed the project, saying that period-related absenteeism is a huge problem in some communities and has a profound effect on the girls’ long-term education. “Their absence from school during their primary years heavily impacts the foundation of vital subjects, making the chances of success in these subjects more challenging as they progress through the school system,” he says.

To read more about Sisi, visit: https://www.sisi.co.za/



Holistic Approach Needed To Close Mining Gender Gap

April 15th, 2019 by

The number of women working in the mining sector has increased significantly over the past 17 years, with the numbers growing from 11 400 in 2002 to over 53 100 today. This represents about 12% of the entire mining workforce of 464 667.

However, an area that has lagged significantly in the facilitation of women’s entry into mining has been the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), designed specifically for women miners.

This can largely be attributed to a general lack of awareness within the industry, with many still considering PPE for women as being more about adding a “feminine touch” rather than addressing the practicalities of workwear that is tailored to the female anatomy.

A commonly observed trend is that many companies still procure male and/or unisex safety wear due to a lack of understanding that the anatomy of a women differs greatly to that of a man and, as a result, the PPE procured should reflect that. Comfort can have a profound effect on productivity, which means that ill-fitting PPE could seriously impact a wearer’s quality of work.

A critical consideration is thus that ill-fitting safety footwear and workwear leads to several issues, which include discomfort and pain, lowered productivity, absenteeism due to health-related problems such as urinary infections and even a psychological barrier to the work environment. Industrial psychologist Uma Naidoo says if one is not comfortable in their attire, in which they spend about eight hours of the day, it could lead to frustration, poor concentration, increased breaks and many other debilitating effects on productivity. She says workers who are uncomfortable in their clothing, are not functioning at their best.

The mining industry has traditionally been a male-dominated space, particularly with regard to heavy work and – despite many strides having been made in terms of gender inclusivity – the environment still remains a tough one for women.

It must be remembered that even performing basic bodily functions still holds significantly more challenges for women miners than their male counterparts. For instance, consider that the simple task of going to the toilet can be a hardship. Often, women who work underground must walk to toilets that are up to 400 metres away from a blast site (legal requirement) just to relieve themselves.

Another challenge upon reaching the toilet is the removal of the garment. Because women are making use of a men’s boilersuit, the only way to relieve themselves is to unzip the boiler-suit and remove it in its entirety (from top to bottom). To do this, women further need to remove other parts of their mandatory kit, such as their hard hat, safety pack and torch battery.

Another factor that affects a women’s dignity is that the colour of their underground mining boiler suit is unbleached. When women have sanitary-related accidents underground, it shows up on this colour and exposes the accident to all.

Thus, the issue of discomfort due to design, as the anatomy of a woman is different to that of a man, is a critical point that needs to be explored when considering the health and well being of female workers on the mines, as well as increased productivity.

To address this, a range of safety wear that challenges the status quo that one size fits all has been designed through extensive research and consultation with women in industry. This includes a ground-breaking boiler suit for women miners, which includes innovative features such as the V-flap at the back of the boiler suit to improve the ease with which women use ablution facilities and the inclusion of navy fabric between the hip and thigh area to save her the embarrassment of a sanitary-related accident.

Now, when going to the toilet, the top part of the boiler suit does not need to be undone or removed, due to the V-flap design in the back, This makes it easier for women to relieve themselves more regularly rather than holding it in for the greater part of the shift, compromising on their comfit and increasing the chances of a urinary infection.

The design of the boiler suit is cut according to a women’s anatomy with a narrower back area, and wider front area and shorter crotch to waist ratio than a man’s. Also, women naturally have wider hips and a more pronounced posterior, which is accommodated in the design, allowing for the elasticated waist band to rest where a women’s waist line typically is and not where a male’s waist line would be.

For above ground workers, female conti suit jackets are tailored at the back, to accommodate for a women’s narrower back, but broader at the front to accommodate for her bust area. This enables a women to move freely within her jacket without restriction when moving her arms.

Trousers are also designed to have a higher waist to prevent the exposure of the back and midriff regions when bending over or raising arms. Garments designed for men often result in trousers that sit below the belly button and place pressure on caesarean scars, and expose the upper half of a women’s posterior when she bends over.

To combat this, women have tendered to wear nylon tights underneath their pants for modesty purposes. Nylon does not absorb moisture, keeping the skin damp during the day which becomes a breeding ground for bacterial and fungal infections. Furthermore, because sweat in not absorbed, the salt crystals remain on the skin, rubbing together causing chauffing. In hot, moist environments, many women contract bacterial and vaginal infections due to such undergarments.

If the mining industry is truly close the gender gap, more needs to be done than simply hiring women to make up the numbers. A holistic approach needs to be taken to address the physiological requirements of a female workforce to put women on an equal footing with their male co-workers.

To view the SISI Safety Wear Range visit https://www.sisi.co.za/safety-wear/


The practical problems of working women in working men’s clothing

February 22nd, 2019 by

South Africa is seeing an increase in female workers in industrial environments as the traditional barriers of gender specific roles are being broken down.  However, from a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) perspective, women are still pigeon-holed with the expectation that they should wear either male or unisex PPE.  There is a fundamental difference in the size and shape between a woman and man’s body, often creating discomfort and even potential risk for women. Furthermore, what many businesses don’t realise is that ill-fitting PPE is impacting the productivity of the female workforce in the workplace.


The Hazards

The basic concept of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is to protect the worker from the potential hazards in their working environment. When it comes to safety footwear, the hazards may include slipping, falling objects, corrosive chemicals and solvents, sharp protruding metals and shavings and anti-static charges just to name a few. PPE is supposed to protect a person from these dangers in the workplace.

One Size Does Not Fit All

If we look at a typical woman’s foot, the contours differ to that of a man’s in that the female foot is generally narrower. As such, a women’s size five shoe would need to be shaped differently to that of a man’s size five shoe, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit.

A man’s shoe may fit a woman’s foot from the toe to the heel, however, it would typically be too wide in breadth. And as a result, her foot may oscillate within the shoe. Overtime, the oscillation puts strain on her ankle, which leads to strain on the knee and subsequently strain on her hip. What may begin as minor discomfit may result in injury as the years go by. In the case of women who have narrow heels, the potential of slipping out of the boot becomes a daily risk thereby counteracting the sole purpose for wearing safety footwear in the first place. Instead of focusing on the daily task at hand, a woman is being mindful of her ill-fitting footwear, thereby decreasing her productive output.

In the case of workwear (such as conti-suits, boiler suits etc), the difference between the shape of a man’s and a woman’s body is more evident. Despite this, there is still a trend of procuring men’s workwear or unisex workwear for women. I believe that this is due to the fact that the consequences and daily struggles of ill-fitting workwear for women are not understood.

With regards to the trousers, women naturally have wider hips and a more pronounced posterior. As a result, the pattern of the trousers needs to be cut differently to accommodate the difference in shape. Failure to do so can result in the trousers sitting below the belly button section. For women who have given birth through a caesarean section, there are often complaints that the button places unwanted pressure on the scarring area causing major discomfit. Furthermore, when a woman bends over – a task that is common for those wearing conti-trousers – the trouser waist band typically falls below her hip region exposing the top half of her posterior. This not only compromises her dignity in front of her colleagues, but often results in her wearing nylon tights under her trousers. The consequences of wearing nylon tights for a prolonged period of time, especially in the South Africa climate, have been well-documented. The nylon material does not absorb moisture and subsequently the skin remains damp and becomes a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria.

When it comes to jackets, unlike men, women generally have a smaller back area, but a more pronounced chest area. There are typically two issues that arise  when issuing women with men’s conti-jackets. Either, jackets are sourced to fit the waist area, hip length and arm length causing tightness in the chest area thereby restricting flexibility and movement and exposing a woman’s mid-drift when raising her arms. Alternatively, the jackets are sourced to fit the pronounced chest area, resulting in a baggy, uncomfortable fit, where the arms and hip length are compromised.

Further to this, the female shape varies from one woman to another. Some have a larger chest area, but smaller hip area, whilst others have an extended hip area but a smaller chest area. In other cases, some women have proportional hip to chest areas. As a result, assuming that conti-suits for women can be purchased as a set (jackets and trousers together) is another misconception.

The point to be noted when it comes to ill-fitting workwear is that instead of focussing on the job at hand, one’s attention is being diverted through the discomfit.

According to Industrial psychologist, Uma Naidoo, if one is not comfortable in their attire, which they use for approximately eight hours of the day, this could lead to frustration, poor concentration, increased breaks and many other debilitating effects on productivity. She confirms that if you are uncomfortable in your clothing, you are not functioning at your best.

Lack of Awareness

Historically, industry was dominated by men. Manufacturers of PPE focused their time and effort producing garments that would suit the contours of a man’s body, in an effort to improve comfort and increase productivity. With more and more women entering into areas once deemed the preserve of men, there needs to be a shift in the way that PPE is procured for the workforce, if productivity is to be maximised.

Much research has been spent looking into the ergonomics of a corporate space with proven results. If the same concept is applied to those wearing Workwear, we can conclude that the more comfortable a worker is, the better they will perform.

About Sisi

Established in 2008, Sisi Safety Wear is a brand of women-specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that falls within the BBF Safety Group (Pty) Ltd (BBF) stable. Sisi Safety Wear was initially developed to provide a solution for women looking for a safety footwear offering that was suited to the contours of a women’s foot. A decade after it launched, the brand successfully expanded its product offering into workwear through its careful consideration of the functional and fit requirements of women working in industry. The Sisi Safety Footwear for Women range comprises 14 styles across 2 shapes – standard and narrow. The range is available in single density and dual density.  Sisi Safety Workwear for Women range of safety wear is tailored to the contours of a women’s body. A key differentiator in the Sisi safety workwear range is that it allows for all trousers and jackets to be sold separately to ensure that those with large bust areas, but small hip areas, or vice versa, can still have a comfortable fit. Sisi’s Head Office is based in Pinetown, Durban, and focuses on making women in industry more comfortable and productive in the workplace.

To view the SISI Safety Wear Range visit https://www.sisi.co.za/safety-wear/



Now Introducing Our Inaugural Range of Safety Wear

September 14th, 2018 by

Through extensive research and consultation with women in industry, Sisi has launched a range of safety wear that challenges the status quo that one size fits all. With an understanding that not all women are shaped the same, Sisi introduces the first range of locally manufactured safety wear to offer 3 UNIQUE CUTS FOR WOMEN: Standard, Extended and Maternity.

Incorporating internationally recognised finishes, such a VizLite™ reflective tape and YKK zippers, Sisi has once again shown its commitment to empowering the lives of the women who shape our world.


THE STANDARD CUT: This cut caters for the typical differences between a woman’s and a man’s body, accommodating for the hip and bust areas.

THE EXTENDED CUT: This cut has been designed to accommodate for a bust size that is not typically proportional to the waist area and a larger posterior that is not typically proportionate to the hip area.

THE MATERNITY CUT: This cut has been designed to accommodate for a bust size that is not typically proportional to the waist area and a larger posterior that is not typically proportionate to the hip area.

All trousers and jackets are sold separately to ensure that those with large bust areas, but small hip areas, or vice versa, can still ensure a comfortable fit.

This Sisi range further caters to the functional requirements of women in industry, placing emphasis on creating garments that not only fit comfortably, but also address the practical requirements of those wearing safety wear in the field, often in the company of men.  Apart from the extensions made to the length of garments to prevent the exposure of the back and midriff areas when bending over or raising arms, our range of boiler suits has looked to maintain the dignity of women in the mining industry who are often challenged by the practicalities of using ablution facilities when wearing standard boiler suit.

The V-flap enables women to easily relieve themselves on-site without having to remove the upper part of the garment and expose themselves, while the darker colour featured on the upper thigh and hip area of our unbleached boiler suits prevents the exposure of sanitary accidents while on-site. These women are geared with more than just safety wear and often have to carry around or wear other equipment, such as hard hats, cap lamps, belts, rescue and sanitary packs and the like for the entire day.  The inclusion of the V-flap ensures much-needed convenience and keeps them from having to remove all of their gear before using basic on-site ablution facilities.

Sisi is proud to introduce its inaugural range of safety wear, shaped for women who shape our world.

To view the SISI Range visit www.sisi.co.za

Footcare During Pregnancy

September 10th, 2018 by

You may not always be able to see them during your pregnancy, but taking good care of your feet while pregnant can play a large role in minimising discomfort. Here are some of the ways in which pregnancy affects your feet and what measures you can take for each of them.

Ankle swelling

As your tummy becomes larger and heavier, more pressure is placed on the pelvis. This causes swelling in the feet and ankles and may also cause cramping in the legs.

What to do

  • Put your feet up as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water – this helps to flush away swelling.
  • Avoid foods high in salt that will retain water.
  • Soak swollen, painful feet at the end of the day in cool water.
  • Stretch cramping muscles.
  • Exercise your calf muscles after standing or sitting for a long time by doing heel raises, as shown below. Hold onto a nearby surface and go up and down onto your tiptoes and back on your heel.

Foot discomfort

As the baby grows, the spine’s curvature is increased, causing a tilt forward of the pelvis. This changes your pattern of standing and walking, placing additional stress on the foot and often pain in the heel, under the arch, or under the ball of the foot.

What to do

  • Ice packs under the arch and gentle foot massage can be of help.
  • If the pain persists, consult a podiatrist, as you may need custom shoe inserts or orthotics.


Hormone changes in pregnancy result in ligament looseness, causing joints to stretch and widen in preparation for giving birth. This affects the joints in your feet, often causing stretching and widening of the feet, as well as lowering of the arches.

What to do

  • If you experience pain under the arch of your foot, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist.
  • Ask for a pair of Footology Gelonair innersoles for your safety shoes, as they offer more intense cushioning under your feet.


Due to hormonal changes, your toenails may grow faster than usual or become brittle or soft.

What to do

  • Keep toenails trimmed and apply tissue oil to ease brittleness.
  • Use a soft nail brush to help to promote blood circulation.

Shoe size

Due to the changes to your hormones, blood circulation and weight, most women will need to go up a shoe size during pregnancy. About 16% of mothers will permanently need larger size shoes after pregnancy.

What to do

  • Make sure your shoes fit well. Shoes that are too narrow or too short will restrict circulation and increase swelling.

Skin complexion & sensitivity

For some women, increased hormone production can result in bluish, blotchy legs. This temporary discolouration usually disappears after delivery. Your skin is also more sensitive during pregnancy.

What to do

  • If you’re going to be driving for longer than half an hour, take a break to stretch your legs to promote circulation.
  • Be sure to use a good sunblock on the tops of your feet when exposing them to the sun.

Varicose veins

During pregnancy, veins in your body become larger to cope with the increased blood supply. The increased pressure on the veins can cause varicose veins.

What to do

  • Put your feet up as often as possible to help relieve the pressure on the veins.
  • Walk in flexible flat shoes and sandals.
  • Avoid standing for more than an hour at a time without taking a break.
  • Choose shoes styles with wide, low heels (no higher than 20mm) or low wedge heels.

Other measures that you can take to ensure optimal foot health and comfort during pregnancy are choosing the right style of shoe and doing regular foot and leg exercises.

Choosing the right shoe style

  • Choose a style that has support at the back of the heel – either a closed heel back or a heel strap – for increased stability.
  • Non-skid soles ensure that you are more sure-footed.
  • Comfortable, flatter shoes provide extra support and shock absorption.

Foot and leg exercises

Exercise 1:

  • Point your toes and then pull them toward you as you point the heel away from you.
  • Extend your leg, and rotate your whole foot and ankle in circular motions. This also exercises the calf muscles after standing or sitting for a long time.

Exercise 2 (variation of exercise 1):

  • Lie down and extend your leg. Using your foot, ankle and toe muscles, draw the letters of the alphabet in the air with your foot.
  • Remember to swop over and exercise the other foot and leg. Do capital letters one day and small letters the next.

Other exercises

  • Walk. Walk. Walk. Be sure to use flexible soled shoes with good shock absorption.
  • Swimming and water aerobics are also good for your feet during pregnancy.

The above information is brought to you by the qualified podiatrist at Sisi Safety wear in the interests of better foot care for women.

Sisi Safety Footwear provides a great solution for those who suffer from foot swelling as a result of their pregnancy. The Tyra has a Velcro strap which allows for easy adjustment and padded colour and tongue for extra comfort.

For more information, visit: https://www.sisi.co.za/product/tyra/ and also view the Sisi Workwear Catalogue for our range of Maternity Safety Wear.

Sunflowers, Smiles And Safety Shoes

September 10th, 2018 by

Every August, South Africans commemorate Women’s Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the role of women and the incredible contributions they make to society. In 2017, the theme for Women’s Month is “The Year of OR Tambo: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”.

As part of its Women’s Day 2017 initiatives, Sisi launched a campaign focused on celebrating the hard-working women of South Africa. Sisi is a brand within the BBF Safety Group stable that designs and manufactures a range of safety footwear specifically for women.

“South Africa has come such a long way in recognising the role of women – both within and outside of the workplace. We therefore launched a campaign to showcase, acknowledge and celebrate the real, hardworking women and the contributions they make to our country. We wanted to paint a picture of the diverse tapestry of strong South African women,” says Vanessa Ronald, Senior Brand Manager at BBF Safety Group.

A Sisi team and camera crew roamed the streets, equipped with sunflowers and safety shoes, to spread messages of acknowledgement, gratitude and empowerment. The video captures a broad spectrum of South African women – from construction workers to nurses, entrepreneurs to expectant mothers, office workers to teachers.

“During Women’s Month, and beyond, Sisi salutes the hard-working women of South Africa. It was incredible to see women in their various roles, each making invaluable contributions every day. We truly believe that when women support each other, incredible things happen. It is for this reason that Sisi will continue to innovate to support the safety footwear needs of women across industries,” adds Ronald.

For more information on Sisi, visit www.sisi.co.za.

BBF Safety Group Supports Women

September 10th, 2018 by

BBF Safety Group is proud to have recently donated footwear to the students at Ray Mhlaba Skills Centre in Port Elizabeth. Ladies were provided with products from the Sisi Safety Footwear range, while Bova products were donated to the men.

The Ray Mhlaba Skills Training Centre, an extension program of the EP Child & Youth Care Centre, offers skills training to vulnerable, underprivileged and displaced youth between the ages of 18-25. This includes those who come from children’s homes, have lost one or both parents, live in households with no formal income and/or come from child-headed households.

The aim is to empower these young adults through skills and social development programs, thereby equipping them with the knowledge and ability to obtain formal employment or become entrepreneurs. On completion of the training, the centre also assists the youth with finding employment.

A variety of SETA Accredited and Entrepreneurial Training Programs are offered to students, including Hospitality Studies, Bakery, Woodwork & Upholstery, Hairdressing, Early Childhood Development, Needlework & Crafts and HIV/AIDS & Palliative Care. In addition to these, all students are enrolled in a Personal Development Program.

The centre is solely reliant on the support and generosity of corporate and private donors to continue their successful operation.

“This is a huge cost saver, as the shoes form a vital part of the required safety standards uniform for our Hospitality Training Program students completing their NQF Level 4 in Professional Cookery qualification. We thank you again for making it possible for our students to have a complete professional workplace uniform, which will not only allow them to train professionally but prepare them for formal employment within the Hospitality Industry”, said Caroline Ferreira, the centre’s Project Director.

To date, in its 12th year of operation, the centre has successfully trained 1185 students across its vocational training programs, 82% of whom have gained formal employment or are earning a reliable income as entrepreneurs.

“It brings us great pleasure to support the Ray Mhlaba Skills Centre in continuing their incredible work”, said Vanessa Ronald, BBF Senior Brand Manager.
“BBF Safety Group is committed to having a positive impact on the communities in which we operate and contributing to the meaningful and impactful efforts of initiatives such as this. We wish all the students many successful steps in their new footwear as they complete their studies and enter into the professional world.”

Sisi and Bova are two of the eight market-leading brands within the BBF Safety Group stable. BBF Safety Group is the largest manufacturer of safety footwear in Africa, operating out of four manufacturing plants in South Africa.

For more information, visit www.bbfsafety.com.