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SEEKING FUNDING: The Worthy Waste Programme

Worthy Waste is more than a programme, it is a movement. We believe that Worthy Waste will become an important tool against which the manufacturers and users of all sorts of textiles across a variety of industries will be measured against.

Worthy Waste, as a concept, addresses key issues within the Clothing and Textile Industry that will positively impact local marginalised crafter (mostly women) through:


Clothing manufacturers often donate textiles to organisations, but the donated goods are not ‘fit for purpose’ for the group it is donated to, since there is no funding for the training, development and market access needed to successfully repurpose the donation.



By giving access to raw materials in return for time, crafters can increase profit margins significantly and therefore become more self-sustainable.



The concept allows for crafters and non-profits training groups to access business training specially designed for their industry (in which time input exceeds the costs of raw materials) at a very cost-effective rate.



The following table gives an overview of the main scope of the Worthy Waste Programme:



To combat the ineffective distribution of usable Textile waste through donations that often still land up in landfill, instead of being repurposed.


Many Clothing and Textile Manufacturers currently do donate, but often just to the nearest non-profit that is able to provide them with a B-BBEE certificate. The Non-profits (and crafters) often do not have the skill or correct machinery and equipment to repurpose all this waste. Eventually it still lands up in landfills this time in black rubbish bags.


It does however not mean that the waste cannot be repurposed by another group, but the network, funding, and logistics to redistribute doesn’t exists within the Non-Profit sector.


We aim to fill this gap and ensure that as much of the waste as possible lands up in the correct hands and that the remaining percentage that can’t be used is responsibly recycled through an accredited recycler or shredded and remade into other products where possible.




The Worthy Waste Programme will manage the distribution of textile waste from suppliers and manufacturers to crafters and non-profits, ensuring that donations are “fit for purpose” based on the needs and ability to repurpose into a sellable product, creating a sustainable income for unskilled and unemployed crafters. To accomplish this end result, the following will be required: -


  1. WASTE from Textile suppliers, manufacturers, and processors.

  2. VENUE AND RELATED EQUIPMENT for sorting and distribution of waste.

  3. VOLUNTEERS to sort waste in return for receiving usable waste (crafters).

  4. TRAINING ROOM for the training of business and short skills programmes to crafters and non-profit groups. (Adjacent to/part of above)

  5. NON-PROFIT CRAFT GROUPS – receivers of waste materials based on their specific needs (in return for booking training courses)

  6. RECYCLER to assist with the processing of waste that is not suitable for repurposing. (Potentially as part of their B-BBEE spend)



To ensure sustainability and reduce the dependency on donors, the following activities will take place -


  • Textile and Clothing Manufacturers are invited to donate all their waste textiles, trims, and other related products monthly. (Delivered to our door)

  • Contributors will be signed up for a two-year contract, where they pay a monthly fee for Knoop Academy to manage waste on their behalf, which assists us with the funding of administration and logistics.

  • In return, Contributors receive Socio Economic and/or Skills development, possible Enterprise development and Supplier development points for their contribution as well as a certificate and sign board to display confirming that they are part of the movement.



  • Processing will be done by volunteer crafters needing access to raw materials

  • All volunteers will pay an annual fee of R3000 (Paid in 2 instalments), which in return will give them access to a 3-day Business management (Compulsory) and one other course of their choice.

  • They will then be able to exchange hours of sorting for waste materials they can repurpose for a period of 12 month.

  • They can renew their subscription annually, by doing 2 short skill courses every year.

  • However, for them to stay on the program, monthly mentorship sessions and reporting on their income as crafters must be attended, to enable us to measure their development and growth. This is a powerful tool for crafters to apply the business management tools they were taught in the 3-day business course and learn new healthy money habits. In return, it gives us data to report back to donors and other stakeholders.





  • The bulk of waste once sorted, are distributed to other Non-Profits, craft and sewing groups according to their needs.

  • Waste distribution is free, but subject to the group booking and paying for two training courses for their beneficiaries per year at a value of R15000 for each course (R2500 per month = training of 30 learners per annum). This amount can easily be covered by learners themselves, or through corporate investments.

  • Waste that cannot be used is recycled via a registered recycler in return for B-BBEE recognition.

  • Waste will also be available for purchase by crafters that is not part of the volunteer team in bales.




  1. WORTHY WASTE: Better distribution of waste to ensure maximum repurposing of all waste received

  2.  CREATIVE CRAFTERS: Provide access to raw materials that isn’t normally accessible to crafters, like leather waste, trims, better quality textiles, etc. at better rate or in return for time.  

  3. BETTER B-BBEE: Better measurement of donation in return for B-BBEE points, yielding better returns on investments. (Economic Empowerment)




  1. LESS LANDFILL: Fit-for-purpose distribution of waste will result in less waste that can be used ending up in landfill sites

  2. SUSTAINABILITY: Lower cost of better-quality raw materials will mean higher profits for crafters, increasing sustainability and empowerment.




The following areas will be measured to create data of the impact of the program:

  1. WASTE IN: Amount of waste received from the industry that would otherwise land up in landfill (Value measured in terms of B-BBEE spend)

  2. WASTE OUT: Tracking of waste repurposing by beneficiaries.

  3. SUSTAINABILITY: Monthly tracking of income/expenses of crafters that doesn’t form part of NPO network.




  1. WORTHY WASTE MOVEMENT: Improved accountability by donors to practice more impactful B-BBEE donation of waste, rather than dumping on Non-profits that doesn’t have the infrastructure and means to successfully repurpose all what they receive.

  2. CLEANER SA – With better management of waste and more purposeful repurposing, landfill site will be under less pressure.

  3. EMPOWERMENT: By having access to business training and better waste at lower costs, crafter’s input costs are reduced, and they become more sustainable.




We strongly believe in the proposed model, but with every program there is always a risk factor involved. We have identified the following red flags and possible counter actions to reduce the risk of failure.

  • NO WASTE - Donors may not see the value in contributing towards the management of their waste and see no problem with dumping it.

  • We believe that with the support of Non-profits that are currently sitting with waste they cannot use, we will be able to form a network of responsible donors.

  • By creating awareness amongst suppliers, pressure can be put on manufacturers to become more accountable.


  • FUNDING WOE’S - Non-Profits unable to commit to two training sessions per year

  • The rate is so low, that they should be able to raise funds for it through corporate donorships.

  • Value is high, and very few craft training groups also offer business training, so we believe it will not be difficult to convince their current donors to support the Programme.


  • CRAFTER RESISTANCE – Crafters choosing to not support the Programme

  • Having ambassadors within the crafting community will help us to encourage crafters to support us

  • Crafters that graduate from other groups, that has completed our business training will be encouraged to remain on the programs as volunteers to obtain access to raw materials.



As our vision for our beneficiaries are to become self-sustainable, empowered business owners, the vision for Worthy Waste is the same. But just like them, we need a hand to get started.  We need strategic partners, and we need buy-in from stakeholders and to build these networks and relationships with no funding on hand, just prolongs the process.



We believe that with assistance to set up the Programme, and support for a period of 12 months, it will give us enough leverage to build relationships with our suppliers and beneficiaries for the program to continue in a semi-self-sustainable way, where we are dependent on business relationships and not donor funding.

Implementation and set up phase need to be a very quick 3-month process of the following steps happening in conjunction with each other.


Development of Brand and Corporate identity

Development of Marketing material, logo, and signage for stakeholders to advertise their participation in the Programme in the form of on-line and display certificates. (Marketing Tool for stakeholders)


Roadshow and awareness campaign

Introduction and info sessions, inviting all stake holders to presentations on the Programme and its value, followed by individual meetings with each to set up agreements.


Awareness campaigns targeting crafters to explain the process will be done in conjunction with Non-profits, craft groups and other relevant parties.


Setting up of warehouse and training facility

The final step with be the setting up of the facility, consisting of the following areas: Training room, Administration office, receiving, sorting and dispatch. Ideally a small warehouse in an area easily accessible via public transport.



The model is based on a value exchange system, which immediately places the program in better position than most non-profits are. Every stakeholder that becomes part of the movement, will find value in the partnership in return for their investment.


Through a process of measurement and evaluation, the movement will grow in credibility, which will automatically result in clients wanting to stay involved and those that may not have been convinced at the beginning, to change their minds.


We have faith in the model. It is based on the methodology similar Development Programmes use that have yielded award winning success. With like-minded partners on board a meaningful impact can be achieved and replicated, not only in terms of waste management in the Textile industry, but also in the lives of much talented crafters in our country.

With the assistance from various funders to implement the programme, we believe we can further develop much needed relationships over a period of 12 months to substantially reduce the dependency on donations and replace it with a value exchange system that is far more sustainable for all stakeholders.

We believe it is time for a fashionable change and would like to invite you to be part of the Worthy Waste Movement.

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