Recycled Materials from Women in Tech Africa

April 25, 2019 | Georgina Varley

Women in Tech Africa Recycling

Banners from Women in Tech Africa are being put to good use across South Africa

Following Women in Tech Africa, 18-19 March 2019, banners from the conference were donated to two charities in Cape Town and Johannesburg. 

The first batch of quality fabric was used exclusively in Cape Town by local business owner Nthombie. She used these banners in Philippi to teach unemployed women in the town how to sew.

Initially, many of the products were not saleable, but instead used for making patterns and samples. Now, the ladies make shopper bags, which they sell and keep 100% of the proceeds. From the sewing project, Nthombie teases out seamstresses to employ in her jacket and overall factory in Teguka Business Park.


From the second batch of fabric donated, a handful of banners were sent to Kanyekanye in Johannesburg. This is a social enterprise that specifically develops learnerships for young adults coming out of the welfare system.

Kanyekanye achieves this by developing products that are made from recycled materials. The flagship product is a FOOP – an Ottoman made from 2L plastic bottles and covered with off-cut fabric, billboard vinyl/fabric banners. They also incubate brands that have an environmentally friendly focus, typically coming from the informal sector of craft and indigenous handcraft into mainstream businesses, which are then able to offer full-time employment to the learners.WomeninTechAfrica4

At the Kanyekanye workshop in Randburg, 30 people in four townships have been trained on making components for various products. There are currently four learners – two on sewing and two on assembly. The fabric banners have been used as pockets in billboard shopper bags, linings for softdrink label bags and, depending on the print, some FOOP covers, backpacks, and cushion covers.

The finished products are currently sold from the workshop and on limited neighbourhood markets. Of the sales generated, every 40 South African Rand pays for one hour of employment. This includes the skilling of former street children, abandoned orphans, and unskilled mothers.


To find out more about the work of this charity, please visit their Facebook page here

The Century City Conference Centre and Hotel has expressed its gratitude for the opportunities provided by the donation of the good quality fabric banners. Representatives believe that there will be more opportunities to create upliftment opportunities both in Cape Town and Johannesburg in the near future.