Help La Lucia ‘upcyclers’ rise

THE Magic Bean Foundation is back at La Lucia Mall with a pop-up shop full of trendy upcycled items, such as bags, baskets and potted plant holders.

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These items, made from plastic bags, provide the livelihoods of many women from underprivileged communities and also serve as a means to protect the environment, oceans and rivers from plastic pollution.

The Magic Bean Foundation trains these women from Umlazi G-Section and Mt Moriah near Phoenix, teaching them how to crochet and make useful items with plastic bags.

One of the ‘Gmagic’ women, Gabazile Dlamini, said she was trained by the foundation in 2016 and since then life has changed for the better for her and her family.

“Things have improved for me and my family members. Being part of the program has made it possible for me to put food on the table. My children can go to school. I can pay bills. It has been an enormous enrichment for me and my family,” she says.

“We have been at La Lucia Mall since February and are grateful to the mall for finding space for us to trade. They helped us a lot,” she says.

Each woman gets the chance to manage the pop-up a few days a week. This allows them to not only sell the products they make, but also earn commission on everything sold that day.

Shelly Stievenart, one of the founders of Magic Bean Foundation, explained that the commission structure was put in place so that the women could cover travel expenses and earn some extra money.

“The La Lucia Mall was very accommodating and just extended our stay by giving us another pop-up space next to Woolworths. Community support will be greatly appreciated as this will go a long way in supporting the women financially,” she said.

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