Fashionistas - watch this space!

Fashionistas - local women creating fashion with recycled materials

Phumudzo Muthanyi and Mbali Mokgosi are redefining the recycling and fashion industry with their business and it all started with a pile of broken electrical appliances.

Fashionistas watch out these young women are styling bags with recycled items
MicGlaw/ Phumudzo

Phumudzo Muthanyi has always had a passion for fashion and science. When she lost her father in 2016, she tried to think up a way of using a heap of broken electrical appliances that he had left behind in a creative and useful way. 

After some experimentation and learning, she and her business partner, Mbali Mokgosi, came up with a way of helping the environment whilst also creating works of fashion. They found a way of recycling electronics, which is what her father was passionate about. 

"Our big break really came when we won a pitching competition worth prize money of R 12,500 in 2018 during Global Entrepreneurship Week. We were able to purchase our first heavy-duty Industrial Sewing Machine, equipment, and materials. We decided to enroll for a short course of Fashion & Design offered at Rhiza Babuyile in 2019, which helped us acquire basic skills of sewing and pattern making." says Phumudzo.  

Phumudzo has also been featured in Santam's Women of the Future and has been nominated as a rising star. She talks about a typical day in her life in the podcast which can be found at the end of this article. 

MicGalaw handbags
MicGalaw/ Phumudzo

The name of their business is "MicGalaw" (pronounced My Galore). "In a period of three years, they have collected over 30,000 different types of PE plastics, widely produced by different types of food, clothing, drink or alcohol brands, which was smothering the township of Orange Farm..." says Phumudzo in an interview we had with her (you can listen to the full podcast below).

They concentrate on creating handbags and backpacks at the moment and have plans on expanding their collections in the future. Currently, they have customers in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban and use a counter-to-counter delivery service to send items to their customers.  

MicGalaw handbags

MicGalaw focuses on producing bags (but also create furniture and home crafts), and they also recycle plastic and cans, which is another source of income for their business. They work closely with the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries, Pick it Up as well as Coca-Cola Beverages. The support from these institutions allowed them to have a successful major exhibition in 2019. 

They haven't just stopped there though, they are working on producing an Annual Educational Eco Exhibition events as well as clean-ups to raise awareness about taking care of the environment. 

MicGalaw handbags
MicGalaw/ Phumudzo

These girls are changing the way we create and are blossoming at it. We love their drive and their innovation. Listen to the full podcast below and find out how you can get in touch with them. 

Image Courtesy of MicGalaw

Listen to the full podcast below and more from Carol Ofori...

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