About Us


Sparks & Ellis | The complete uniform solutions

Tomorrow’s uniforms, today.


Sparks & Ellis is one of South Africa’s leading uniform suppliers and manufacturers. It specialises in complete uniform solutions and offers clients a head-to-toe service. Developing technologically advanced products, Sparks & Ellis offers uniforms and equipment for security, traffic, fire and rescue, ambulance, law enforcement, and corporate clients.

Sparks and Ellis Uniforms was established in the early 1930s, and bought in 1967 by Cape Union Mart. It is now owned by Cape Union Mart Group (70%) and empowerment partner, Thebe Investment Corporation (30%) and is one of the few suppliers of uniforms to have a Level 1 BEE rating.

Sparks & Ellis Uniforms has branches in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

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In the sixties and seventies the location of Sparks was "behind the till and up the stairs on the first floor" in the original Cape Union Mart store on the corner of Corporation and Mostert Streets. At that time Sparks & Ellis supplied overalls, gumboots, motorcycle clothing, rain suits and the like. In the late seventies customers entered Cape Union Mart and walked through to Sparks & Ellis to buy camping gear, back packs, sleeping bags and cold weather gear.

At about the same time Sparks & Ellis started manufacturing uniform shirts for the local traffic officers. This then led to orders for 4 pocket tunics and trousers. These had to be bespoke tailor-made using a few highly skilled local tailors in and around Plein Street. This business grew quite rapidly and a turning point was reached when a tender was won for about 40 traffic officers. At about this time the Hepworths tailoring factory was up for sale. Within a few weeks this factory had been bought lock stock and barrel. This factory was soon re-named K-Way Manufacturers after Mr K, father of company chairman, Philip Krawitz.

The uniform business took off and in the mid-eighties the Barrack Street premises were built to house K-Way, Cape Union Mart warehouse and offices, Sparks & Ellis and Group Head Office. Sparks grew from strength to strength in the new premises. Sales agents were employed around the country and offices were opened in Joburg, PE and Durban.

A new breakthrough came when premier security company, Gray Security Services, were approached with a crazy plan to hold stock of their uniforms and offer them a previously unheard of delivery service of 48 hours from receipt of order. In order to accomplish this, systems and processes had to be re-invented and this led to the introduction of a state-of-the-art internet based on-line ordering system.

The whole company was growing rapidly and eventually a decision was made to move the K-Way factory to Ottery. Sparks then moved up one floor to take over the top floor of the Barrack Street premises in 1997 and continued trading in these premises until 2010 when, once again, Sparks outgrew their allocated space and had to find alternative premises.

Sparks managed to find a newly renovated and modern building in an up-and-coming part of Woodstock. Within a few short months Sparks & Ellis had moved into to larger and much better premises.

One of the groups’ philosophies is "the quality of the company is equal to the quality of its people". Sparks & Ellis have a dedicated group of long serving staff members who take their responsibility to their customers’ very seriously and are often commended on their high levels of service excellence.

The company has settled into the spacious and modern Woodstock premises and are now geared up to move the company to a new level.

Mission statement To be Southern Africa’s leading supplier and manufacturer of technologically advanced products and technically specified uniforms to clients who value quality and service.

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Sparks & Ellis is the oldest and most trusted supplier of uniforms and accessories in South Africa. Our product range includes clothing and equipment for Security, Traffic, Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Corporate clients.

Sparks & Ellis is owned by Cape Union Mart Group (70%) and empowerment partner, Thebe Investment Corporation (30%).

Empowerdex rating - "AA" - Level 1 contributor – 135% Procurement recognition.

We are one of the few suppliers of uniforms to have our own factory – K-Way Manufacturers, which is part of the Cape Union Mart Group of companies.

We also have our own in-house design studio which allows us to develop unique products and ensure consistency in terms of quality and fit.

Sparks & Ellis specialises in complete uniform solutions and offer many clients a head-to-toe quartermastering service.

Our company focuses on using technology to streamline our business processes as far as possible. Our on-line order system allows clients to access full history per person as well as 13 months financial history by account.

We believe in adding value to our customers by allowing them to focus on their core business while outsourcing the complete uniform supply function to us.

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