All Women Recycling is a small a women-led social enterprise created by Lynn Worsley, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa. It was inspired by the desire to create a sustainable and profitable business, promote environmental sustainability and provide a safe place to nurture women through skills, education and empowering project through recycling and product development. The enterprise turns discarded plastic soft-drink bottles into beautiful upcycled, decorative gift boxes.
Lynn intended to find a practical and sustainable way of keeping the country and its communities free of the thousands of discarded plastic soft-drink bottles that litter the environment. She set up the enterprise with the end goal of creating high quality, upcycled products using these discarded plastic bottles as materials, which would in turn benefit the environment and empower local women in the communities. This resulted in the production of the beautiful kliketyklikbox™, a versatile and trendy, yet highly practical and upmarket, eco-friendly gift box recycled from these discarded plastic 2-litre cool drink bottles.
Built for the purpose of empowering women supporting environmental sustainability, today, the enterprise achieves its purpose by employing local young women, primarily previously unemployed single mothers who produce approximately 350 kliketyklikboxes™ daily. Thereby empowering them economically and supporting the environment.
All Women Recycling now supplies its kliketyklikboxes™ to more than 30 retail outlets in South Africa. In addition, about 60% of the eco-friendly gift boxes are exported to countries such as Germany, Switzerland, UK, USA and Australia. The company’s mission is highly commendable and a real example to others in Africa, dedicating itself to creating truly exceptional products and delivering service excellence to its customers. The company prides itself on listening carefully and responding to the needs and expectations of both customers and the community. Within the company, the culture is centered on encouraging individual creativity and innovation amongst the women crafters, and it continually seeks to improve its performance and the working environment for employees. It focuses on nurturing its women employees through the establishment of effective social networks, provision of new and specialist skills training and business education. At a greater community level, the company is highly committed to creating awareness of environmental issues and the need to recycle, reuse and reduce as part of daily life in the townships.
One of the unique differentiators of All Women Recycling as a business can be found in the strength of its ties to international distributors. This distribution network is used to provide access to key global markets for its products and the products of its partner network. Future growth plans for the business are exciting, with an eye on expanding business outreach from the current 11 countries, including the USA, Australia and European countries, by building and maintaining solid business relationships. In addition, there are plans to buy a workspace to offer specialist training courses to women, and also plans to buy a vehicle to collect waste bottles more cost-efficiently. All Women Recycling also aims to convince beverage companies to set up collection points for their plastic bottles. The company is also looking to increase the demand for its products by expanding its product range. This would allow the enterprise to employ more women, promote women to managerial positions, and increase the number of recycled bottles used in the production process, thereby creating a greater positive environmental impact.
The inspirational efforts of All Women Recycling as a sustainable eco-business which creates opportunities for previously disadvantaged women, whilst at the same time, finding solutions to the problem of plastic bottle waste in South Africa, have been recognized globally in the past 12 months. The company was the winner of the prestigious SEED South Africa Award 2014. The SEED Initiative is a high impact, global campaign which aims to promote entrepreneurship for sustainable development.