A creative artist has turned his passion for recyclable goods into a successful venture with the establishment of Republic of Recycle, a store which sells items made from recyclable goods and operates from 27 Boxes in Melville.
Westdene resident, Thamba Tabvuma said he has had an interest in art from a young age and remembers participating in his mother’s arts and craft class.
When living in Cape Town, Tabvuma and a group of friends decided to collect recyclable goods and make items out of them. That is where his journey of making unique pieces from waste began.
“Recycled goods are my passion. I hate wasting and seeing litter on the streets. I make everyday items such as wallets, accessories, head wraps, hats and soft toys. Since I started making items, I’ve got a system where I pay people at taxi ranks to collect recyclable goods for me such as Iwisa bags, milk cartons and travel bags. When I have an idea of what I want to make, I envision it first and come up with a technique as I create the product,” explained Tavuma.
He added that most people throw their waste away or when they are defective and don’t need them anymore. The artist sometimes purchases the off-cuts from material which tailors in town no longer need and also collects milk cartons from receivers on the street to make wallets.
“Once people see my products, it does influence how they treat the waste they no longer need by changing their mindset and inspiring them to recycle. I believe people should take a greater interest in recyclable goods in order to take better care of the environment.
“Even though we are different, we all stay on the same planet. We need to be more responsible about how we take care of it.”