How many cups of tea do you have during a day? And if you are in an office how many tea bags do you think get put into the bin at the end of the day? Even if you only use one tea bag a day don’t throw it away, keep it because there are some special people located in the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Hout Bay, Cape Town, who could really turn your old tea bag into something special…
“Original T-Bag Designs is a collective of artists who live in an informal settlement in Hout Bay, South Africa. With recycled tea bags as their canvases they are painting themselves out of poverty”.
If you haven’t yet heard of the Original T-Bag Designs then you are missing out, this is such a unique and creative way of job creation and utilizing the creativity of people …
Founded more than 11 years ago by Jill Heyes who had moved to South Africa from England as after seeing the poverty in the “informal settlement” of Imizamo Yethu she wanted to help and make a difference in the lives of the people. She began to teach some of the women basic craft skills and after some unsuccessful attempts to sell paper mache and potato printing products their perseverance kept them trying until they came up with something fabulous.
In 2000 the Original T-Bag Designs came to fruition. But what is this you are asking? These ladies from Imizamo Yethu, who are now in working in sustainable jobs, something that most people don’t take a second look at a used tea bag and create high quality artwork in the form of greeting cards, artwork and other products. It is also a fantastic initiative as it flies the “Proudly South African” banner.
The ladies from the community have now become skilled and talented artists and employ some of the members of the Imizamo Yethu community who have disabilities to assist with the making of these products. The Original T-Bay Designs is now another destination that anyone who lands on Cape Town soil should make their way to because it is a fine example of what can be achieved with hard work, perseverance and a community spirit.
The Original T-Bay Design is now sending out a call to one and all to help them make their Christmas wish come true. And this is where we can all help. They would like to collect 50 000 used tea bags that they envisage will be used by the end of the year as they have huge orders for their very popular tea bag angels.
These angels are made from the tea bags, which are dried and emptied and ironed and together with string create a very lovely skirt for the angel.
So the next time you have a cuppa using a tagged tea bag, please remember to save, dry, empty and send it to Original T-Bag Designs!
Let’s see if we can help this worthy project meet their target. Save those tea bags and send them as soon as possible so we can make their Christmas wish come true.
Send your Tea Bags to:
Original T-bag Designs, Unit 4 Kronendal Business Park
Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 790-0887.
Photographs from and © Original T-Bag Designs