All Women Recycling

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All Women Recycling – Team

 

Profile of CONTIGO´s partner All Women Recycling

Cape Town to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)

Supply chain

  • Trading Partner: Allwomenrecycling, microenterprise
  • Function: Producer
  • Structure: affiliated production groups, temporarily no own production facility
  • Tradeway: direct import CONTIGO

Products

KLIKETYKLIKBOX  (short: Klikboxes), gift boxes made from plastic bottles

Location

Cape Town, capital and primate city of the Western Cape province, South Africa – distance to Europe : 9,500km

Founded in 2009

History

  • Lynn Worsley is born in 1953 and raised in England. She migrates with her parents to South Africa where she makes a career in theatre, TV and radio. 1977 after her marriage she moves back to England
  • 1984: Lynn returns to South Africa. After her divorce she starts her own business with baby body care products. Later on she works as operations manager in a fashion company
  • 2008: Her interest in upcycling and green products makes her create her own business, providing work to unemployed black ladies from the townships. The idea of the first KLIKETYKLIKBOX  is born (since 2012 registered trade mark): Pet bottles are purchased from dumps and community street collectors and transformed into marketable trendy and eco-friendly gift boxes
  • 2009: All Women Recycling is founded with 8 women (most of them single mothers) from the townships Langa, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, and Philippi
  • 2011: Networking activities in South Africa. All Women Recycling is part of an aid programme which is developed by FETOLA as a Finnish “aid for trade” programme, this leads to growing success of the gift boxes on the local market
  • 2014: All Women Recycling is the winner of the SEED award (international award for companies and initiatives with sustainable corporate concepts), international support from Flanders (Belgium)
  • 2014: The workshop moves to the present-day location, up to then the production has been at Lynn´s private house
  • 2016: All Women Recycling receives further awards, amongst others from an Australian programme for sustainable eco entrepreneurship
  • 2016: Over 500.000 bottles have been upcycled (appr. 117.000 kg CO2 could have been avoided by not being burned in the dumps)
  • 2017: The Belgian Primeminister Geerts Bougeois visits All Women Recycling
  • 2017: Extended cooperation with women run companies and initiatives, multitude of net working activities (e.g. the “Naked Baby Project”- U.S., GOGO Project – South Africa)
  • 2019: Winner of the Global Business Insight Award, South Africa (Most innovative gift box manufacturer)
  • 2019: Restructuring of the company, some finishing steps in production are relocated to the townships, where the ladies work from home
  • 2020: Modernisation of the company’s website
  • 2020: situation under Covid 19 pandemic
    • March: complete lockdown in Southafrica since 17.3.20, the workshop is closed down, some work can be continued outdoor. Finished orders can not be delivered. growing crime rate in the townships, where the ladies work
    • May: limited reopening, mainly from home, problems with material supplies, lack of PET bottles, as schools and civic amenity sites are closed. All Women Recycling covers the gap by switching to face mask sewing
    • October: domestic and export market stagnate, financial ressources are finished, premises of Allwomen Recycling are closed
    • Perspective: possible reopening at a new temporarily rented location spring 2021
CONTIGO visit 2017

CONTIGO visit 2017

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2010

Why does CONTIGO work with All Women Recycling
CONTIGO introduced the Klikboxes to the overseas market for the first time. This laid the foundation for a long success story of the small upcycling workshop. We were allowed to closely accompany the development of Allwomenrecycling, successes, reorientations, public attention beyond South Africa up to the temporary closure as a result of the Corona Pandemic. CONTIGO has always been a supporting, stable trading partner for Allwomenrecycling, for a long time the most important one. We appreciate Lynn Worsley’s unwavering commitment to empowering township women through education, personal development, empowerment for professional independence. The idea of the Klikboxes remains ingenious and unique and is a testament to the creative power of its inventor.

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • 4 female employees, all full-time (35 hours per week) till end of 2020
    • Tasks: preparation and distribution of materials (Ashanti, Nono), sewing (Cindy Magsum)
  • Management:
    • Lynn Worsley (CEO, sales, education, product development, marketing)
    • Ilhaam (production management and deputy of Lynn, responsible for telephone hotline, computer works, work organisation, purchase of materials, HR)
  • Outsourced production in the townships around Capetown
    • 2 longtime employed and experienced ladies (Aksa, Francine), responsible for training new ladies
    • 5 newly trained ladies, immigrants from Eastern Cape, Kongo, Tansania

Work environment:

  • The former workshops located in a trade area building (Industrial Village Retreat, Cape Town) are closed and cleared
  • All ladies employed work from their homes in the townships
  • Used materials:
    • Pet bottles are collected by street collecters and donated from companies (as part of their social enterprise development program), local schools and charities
    • Paper napkins

Organisation of workforce till end 2020

  • All ladies works self-dependent from home. They receive material packages and a fixed weekly salary for the agreed production quantity of boxes
  • The ladies are specialised in following steps:
    • Washing and raw cutting of bottles: soda bottles, water and softdrink bottles
    • Pasting of napkins in different patterns
    • Attaching of all decorative elements
    • Lacquering and drying of the boxes
    • Cutting boxes into final shape
    • Finishing off, quality control and packaging

Sales

  • Exports till end 2019 (95%) to Germany, UK, U.S., Ireland, Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Belgium, Austria
  • Home market till end 2019 (5%)
    • Own retail shop in Woodstock, Cape Town
    • Supplier to gift shops and tourist agencies in Southafrica
    • Fairtrade and corporate gifts
  • In 2020 sales to international and domestic market decreased considerably. All Southafrican outlets closed, export to U.S. and Germany (Contigo)

Goals

  • To develop environmentally friendly products, to decrease plastic waste
  • To support and educate young women from the townships, black ladies, single mothers
  • To provide secure incomes
  • To establish a consciousness for the environment
  • To develop and educate new skills, to introduce new ranges

Special Features

  • Upcycling: old plastic bottles are used completely
    • Bottom of the bottles are processed into upcycling products
    • Middle part of the bottles are processed to greeting cards and name tags (e.g. for trade fairs and other events)
    • Cap of the bottles are shredded: earnings from selling this material are invested into new wheel chairs for people with disabilities or donated to children in need
  • Encouragement of the employees:
    • Development of personal skills, to strengthen self-confidence, training of verbal skills and expressing oneself
    • Financial independance (own bank account)
    • Savings, in order to buy property

 

Fairtrade classification

FTA = Fairtrade Approved

 

Fairtrade aspects

 

All Women Recycling complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV320px-AWR15

Fair wages

  • Remuneration of home work corresponds to the former salary level
    • Skilled ladies receive up to ZAR 200/day

Humane working conditions

Social benefits before closing down

  • Paid holidays (three weeks summer holidays, from 22.12. till mid of January)
  • Continuous payment of salary in case of sickness, accident or while on parental leave (according to statutory rules)
  • Contributions are paid to governmental UIF (= Unemployment Insurance Fund), employee and employer pay each 1% of monthly gross salary
  • Loans provided, e.g. in case of family emergencies (loans are set off against future salaries and paid back)

 

Educational opportunities:

  • Teaching different production steps, all-round applicable
  • All Women Recycling encourages the employees to open up their own businesses:
    • Lynn supports them by teaching business management and organisational issues (e.g. to develop a business plan, price calculation)
    • Up to now 27 former employees could open start-up businesses

Transparency

  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO

Monitoring

  • Personal visits in Kapstadt (2010, 2011, 2012, 2017)

 

Further information

Lynn Worsley: Empowering, Upcycling and Creating (June 2016)

SEED Case Study: All Women Recycling – Empowering women in South Africa through plastic recycling (2014)

GREENHEROES (November 2011)

 

Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: South Africa

 

Photos

Lynn Worsley visits CONTIGO in Göttingen (August 2018) 

Pictures from the former workshop: 

  300px-AllWomenRecycling1 320px-AllWomenRecycling10

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Video

Author: Janina Lange on 24. January 2021
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