Helping a Mama out. How the humble refuse bag is feeding families
The humble refuse bag has become the unlikely hero for approximately 100 previously unemployed women in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Thanks to the vision of Supa Mama founder Thina Maziya, hundreds of waste collectors now earn a weekly income that helps to feed their families. The competitively priced Supa Mama refuse bag uses recycled plastic to produce recyclable bin bags. Available to purchase in Spar, Shoprite/Checkers, OK Foods, Game and other Masscash stores, buying the Supa Mama refuse bag means shoppers are ensuring work for hundreds of women and saving 5 tonnes of waste from reaching landfill each week.
Supa Mama refuse bags join the growing league of businesses in SA that have social and eco enterprise woven into their foundation, such as Tich Smith’s LIV Eggs and LIV Flowers. “Supa Mama is not offering a quick promotion, with temporary feel good eco and social benefits. The more Supa Mama refuse bags we sell, the more Mama’s we can provide work to and the more rubbish we can keep out of dumps,” said Maziya.
Maziya’s innovative business model allows her to cut out the middleman and deal directly with the ‘Mamas’, ensuring she is able to pay them the best price for their recycling efforts. “We realised that the Mamas were walking far to collect their plastic, and could not carry the waste collected over long distances, so we set up collection points around the province to assist them in increasing their volume. We’ve also set up a safe SMS weekly payment system via Absa CashSend so our Mama’s don’t have to carry cash,” says Maziya.
Supa Mama aims to provide work for over 500 Mamas, and will look to start a Mama-owned fleet of trucks to service the growing logistical needs of the firm. “We could set up a logistics team, but we want to give the Mamas the opportunity to grow with us,” said Maziya.
Maziya’s business is helping the Mamas establish a sense of pride in what they do, all while promoting a sense of community amongst the women. This female solidarity is offering the Mamas a much-needed boost in psychological empowerment as they nurture their micro-entrepreneurships. Supa Mama was conceptualised in 2012 by Estcourt born businesswoman Thina Maziya and is the flagship brand of Verigreen Pty Ltd.
Supa Mama refuse bags are available at Spar, Shoprite/Checkers, OK Foods, Game and other Masscash stores around KZN. R19.99 for Value Pack of 20 bags. Read more about the Supa Mama story: http://supamama.co.za
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