What if we used our waste fabric that normally goes into landfills to make functional, stylish and affordable bags of all shapes and sizes? And what if people were trained to make them, in their communities as an entrepreneurial opportunity? And what if some of those profits went into supporting and environmental non-profit already doing good work?
This is exactly what Uzwelo does. They have a team of 3 trained ladies from Bhungezi/Philangethemba Trust (Molweni-Valley of 100 hills) 3 ladies at the LIV Village, and 2 ladies from iThembalethu (Cato Manor). Each one of these are now producing bags and earning a living that puts food on the table for their families, funds education and provides dignity and upliftment for their communities long-term.
They even do their bit for the ocean by using materials made from recycled water bottles. PET bottles are collected by informal waste collectors, as well as formal recycling businesses across the country. The plastic bottles are taken to Extrupet, who wash and chop the bottles into chips or flakes. These chips are used in food-grade application to make new bottles made out of rPET (recycled PET bottles) or are sent to Propet. Propet converts the chips into small pellets, which are extruded through their machines to produce fibre. This fibre is used in the manufacture of the nonwoven felt, as well as many other fibres such as duvet and pillow inners, and even knitted into t-shirt fabric.
WWF uses Uzwelo bags in order to ensure that we do our part for the environment by not contributing to landfills, their bags are manufactured from fabric off-cuts or recycled plastic and we therefore cannot guarantee colours, shades and/or patterns at the time of your order.