From dustbins to fashion bags

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015   |   By Ontametse Sugar
Mogotsi making her bags Mogotsi making her bags PIC: OMANG KILANO

What most considers as litter is actually a lucrative raw material for one Tsholang Mogotsi. That is what plastic bags – mostly disposed-off once used from shopping – mean to her. Mogotsi, who is based at her home in Mmankgodi where she does her business, goes around collecting plastic bags that she turns into amazing fashion items. Her handbags are a hit among people who are keen on fashion and also who want to have something different. The bags will strike you with how they look; their uniqueness sets them apart. The design is quite very striking and fashionable.
As to what led her to this business and where she got the skill, Mogotsi said she had always been interested in weaving from a young age. When she got older she realised that there was potential to make money out of the talent that she has. “I now go around collecting plastic bags to make these products that I do well. Trust me they are very durable and they do not get torn easily. You can use them for quite a long time," she said. She revealed that it takes her three days for her to make a medium size handbag because at the same time as a mother she is also dealing with family duties. She said just like any other priced item that someone will buy, though made out of plastic, the bags can be just washed and they will still look brand new.
She uses just a needle to make these bags, and then puts a lining and pockets so that it provides the same services that a normal handbag would. Though she does not have them in shops, Mogotsi said she often delivers to different places. Her latest delivery was to an area in Borolong. She said that she mostly works with orders, which enables her to customise the bags with the colours that someone wants. And of course since she is doing something that helps conserve the environment by recycling the plastic bags to make something fashionable and that brings her money, she said. Somarelang Tikologo – a local NGO that campaigns for environmental conservation - sometimes takes her products to sell them during their exhibitions. "I partake in a lot of exhibitions and I even got certificates for taking care of nature," she said. She urged the government to give them more support and help businesses like them to grow because they do play a very important role in the society.

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