Capitec’s new approach to upcycling their marketing material is not only kind to the environment but creates job opportunities and empowers South Africans in need.

From the Capitec HQ in Stellenbosch an idea was born to repurpose what was no longer being used and about to be thrown away. This resulted in South Africa’s largest digital bank being kinder to the environment and empowering South Africans in need.

We found out how the initiative came about from the team.

“When we do maintenance and upgrades of branches, or have new marketing campaigns, we normally change the fabric cloth on the walls with new ones. These materials are quite expensive and we didn’t want to just throw them away. We then teamed up with the CSI department and came up with the idea to use the material to make recycled bags,” explains Chris Scheepers, from the Properties and Project Management team at Capitec.

This led to Capitec enlisting the assistance of a group of seamstresses in Lwandle, whom the company had previously called on for custom COVID masks.

“We sat together, gave them the fabric and samples and they came up with the most beautifully made items in their home,” explains Ellen-Anne Finnemore, CSI Co-ordinator at Capitec.

“They love our wording and very cleverly work with it to create a product that says something to you,” she adds.

Finding clever solutions to help upcycle waste is important and a big win for our environment but Capitec’s new approach to custom made swag is having effects beyond that.

“We have up to ten ladies and two gentlemen that help me create the bags. This initiative helps us with finances, especially during the pandemic. It also provides a place for the ladies to gather and work together. By doing so we are also encouraging one another not to give up,” comments seamstress Charity Vinyu.

“I started working with Charity last year on the COVID masks. This income is helping me feed my kids and assist my family,” shares another seamstress, More Blessing Faife.

From this collection of repurposed goods, packs including lunch bags, pencil cases and drawstring bags, are made up by Capitec and then donated to schools and children. Other items include planter boxes that have been used by schools to show their children how to replant as well as how to look after and grow plants in boxes. All are available for purchase by the Capitec staff too.

Daisy Odendaal, Portfolio Manager for Capitec’s Digital Channels & Payments sums up the efforts perfectly, “I love that we took something that’s old and previously used and are now turning it into something with a new purpose. We are being kind to the environment, kind to our communities, and I think that really represents what Capitec is all about.”

Recycling is important and we all have a role to play. So is lending a hand to communities in need when we can. Thank you Capitec for being the change, making a difference, and promoting a new way.