- - "Cycle of Good" Fights Poverty by Turning Used Bicycle Tubes into Handcrafted Goods

“Cycle of Good” Fights Poverty by Turning Used Bicycle Tubes into Handcrafted Goods

Cycle of Good is helping to end poverty in one of the poorest communities in the world. Currently employing 10 Malawian tailors full time, but with ambitions to grow this to a team of 100, they earn a good wage and can support their families, without any charity donations or handouts.

Cycle of Good’s ethos is to:

  • Value people; our team and our customers, and treat them fairly.
  • Value resources; we reduce waste, recycle wherever possible and care for our environment by being frugal in the way we work.
  • Be creative yet practical in our innovations; so we craft lasting products that serve a purpose.

Cycle of Good is the latest initiative to join a hub of social enterprises created by the project’s charity over the past ten years. Situated in Chilomoni Township, Malawi, the enterprises together employ 500 people who have trained and worked to create businesses that fund a vital children’s center.

The center provides early years care and family support to around 2000 vulnerable children at any one time. It’s a quiet revolution of skills building and economic growth in a country with no welfare state: if you don’t earn, you don’t eat.

What’s even better is that many of the enterprises are reusing unwanted or waste products from the UK and turning them into profit.

Cycle of Good has shipped thousands of books, bikes, computers and sewing machines, which are done up, used for training and sold to create a profit.

Over the years, the most popular enterprise by far has been the tailoring school. Over 2000 local women (and the occasional man!) have completed a diploma training course and kept their donated sewing machine at the end.

Cycle of Good builds on all of this amazing work to make something even more meaningful! They now collect used inner tubes and other products, ship them in containers to Malawi where they are given to tailors who carefully craft useful and stylish handcrafted goods.

The project also carefully sources other Malawian made items, especially when they are made from recycled and sustainable materials. They ship all of these products back to the UK where they are sold, while profits pay for more containers to be sent to Malawi and all of the surpluses directly fund the work of the children’s center.

Thus the name Cycle of Good.

All of the Cycle of Good team in Malawi live in the township of Chilomoni where the workshop is situated. They have all completed a two year diploma in Tailoring and Design, using old sewing machines donated from the UK, they learned all techniques necessary for fabric making.

Since then, they have completed further training focused on accessories production, offered by international volunteers. Regular, reliable employment is essential (although hard to come by) in Malawi. With no welfare state, if you cannot work, you cannot support your family.

Cycle of Good pays above the national living wage and offers full employment rights such as paid holiday and pensions.

What to be part of Cycling of Good?

They would love it if you could collect tubes for them. They can be contacted by visiting their site here

Ntchito yabwino kwambiri!

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