Charles and Ali
Charles, also known as Mavuto, and Ali are the two carvers the shop currently uses. They make products for the shop whilst also making other carvings you can buy in Cape Maclear.
Both Ali and Charles are experienced and talented carvers with great skill and a willingness to learn and experiment with new products they have never made before. They currently carve all the items you can see in the shop and are helping perfect the melted plastic products.
What is upcycled: scraps of wood from construction
What is created: lids, condiment and candle holders, display units.
'Duration making the product: 4-5 hours for one product depending on the design and type of wood..
Clement is the leading glass cutter for the shop, employing two other people to help him cut the glasses.
As an enthusiastic character, Clement strives to keep up with demand while continuously allowing time to be creative with his pieces. Clement not only cuts the glasses, he also makes tin can lamp shades along with dome other creative tin can art pieces. As well as being skillful with his hands, he also has his own band, where he sings and plays guitar in lodges on Saturday evenings.
What is upcycled: wine (Tall Horse), spirit (Malawi Gin and Vodka) and beer bottles (Savanna and Carlsberg).
What products are created: drinking glasses, jars and condiment holders.
The process: a rope is plaited and than attached to a tree on both ends with nails. The bottle is looped through and with both hands, moved up and fown as fast as possible. Once the bottles starts to feel hot, you make a small crack where the rope was with sanpaper, and then rinse it over with water, splitting the bottle. The edges are sanded down.
Duration making the product: 1-3 minutes to crack the glass.
Since the opening of the Cape Maclear recycling centre in January 2017, the community has come on in leaps and bounds. Not only has it encouraged to keep the community clean, created jobs, educated the locals on its importance but it has also created the recycling shop.
The shop has been open since August 2017 and is situated between Mphipe and Indaba Lodge on the main village road. The shop is run by three local women, Mery Kalitera, Girinisi Switch and Enala Chataika. They make products from recycled material and are responsible for the running and the finances of the shop. Each item sold in the shop includes its own (recycled) piece of paper with the breakdown of cost.
The recycling centre takes all waste and recyclables from the lodges and will eventually move onto local bars, the markets and the entire community. Ultimately, we are trying to gradually build awareness about the correct disposal of garbage in the community. We currently collect 3 times a week from the lodges, where the recyclables are sorted and handed over to the people making products for the shop.
The objective of the shop is to
We are hoping that the centre and the shop will become self-sustaining. It is currently being sponsored and organised by Alan Joffe (owner of Mgoza Lodge) with three employees to collect and sort the rubbish.
We will be working in conjunction with Malawi National Parks and Wildlife, Malawi Ministry of Tourism, all Cape Maclear stake holders (lodges, small businesses and tour guides) and the community in effort to clean up Cape Maclear.
Mery, Girnisi, Elena, Eurice, Zamabu, Elita and Sicknett
The ladies were taught how to make the woven pots by ladies from Dzaleka Refugee Camp (www.thereishopemalawi.org). In turn, these three ladies will pass on the skill to others in the community.
What's upcycled: sisal (a spiky plant), old maize bags, old clothes and plastic packaging.
What's created: woven holders
The process: The material is plaited and woven flat to create mats or if making pots it is then formed into a dome shape
What products are created: pot holders, floor and table mats.
The shop currently uses only one artist. Harrington is known throughout the district for his intricate art skills.
He currently engraves all the glasses for the shop, paints the pots and will be introducing some more soon. As you may have seen, throughout Cape Maclear, a lot of the lodges and bars uses the glasses with some having their own brand engraved on them.
What is upcycled: wine (Tall Hostel, spirit bottles (Malawi gin and vodka) and beer bottles (Savanna and Carlsberg).
What is created: uniquely engraved glasses and painted pots.
Duration making the product: depending on the design, it can take 5-10 minutes per glass.
Creating a Sustainable Destination in the Warm Heart of Africa