About Cycle Of Good
Cycle of Good is helping to end poverty in one of the poorest communities in the world. Currently employing 10 Malawian tailors full time, but with ambitions to grow this to a team of 100, they earn a good wage and can support their families, without any charity donations or handouts.
Our ethos is to:
- Value people; our team and our customers, and treat them fairly.
- Value resources; we reduce waste, recycle wherever possible and care for our environment by being frugal in the way we work.
- Be creative yet practical in our innovations; so we craft lasting products that serve a purpose.
Cycle of Good is the latest initiative to join a wonderful hub of social enterprises created by our charity over the past ten years. Situated in Chilomoni Township, Malawi, the enterprises together employ 500 people who have trained and worked to create businesses that fund a vital children’s centre. The centre provides early years care and family support to around 2000 vulnerable children at any one time. It’s a quiet revolution of skills building and economic growth in a country with no welfare state: if you don’t earn, you don’t eat.
What’s even better is that many of the enterprises are reusing unwanted or waste products from the UK and turning them into profit. We’ve shipped thousands of books, bikes, computers and sewing machines, which are done up, used for training and sold to create a profit.
Over the years, the most popular enterprise by far has been the tailoring school. Over 2000 local women (and the occasional man!) have completed a diploma training course and kept their donated sewing machine at the end.
Cycle of Good builds on all of this amazing work to make something even more wonderful! We now collect waste inner tubes and other products, ship them in our containers to Malawi and we give them to the tailors who carefully craft useful and beautiful items. We also carefully source other Malawian made items, especially when they are made from recycled and sustainable materials. We ship all these amazing products back to the UK where we sell them to lovely people like you! The profits pay for us to send more containers to Malawi and all surpluses directly fund the work of the children’s centre. It’s why we call it the Cycle of Good!
MEET THE TEAM
Tailors: Chisomo Lombola, Cecilia Chisaka, Agnes Phiri, Martha Nalivata, Elita Kamoto, Violet Chassano, Ida Baluti, Yamikani Chandiyang’ana
Lead Tailor: Matilda Jalasi
Project Manager: Mary Kamwendo
Volunteer Project Facilitator: Caroline Denny
All of the Cycle of Good team in Malawi live in the township of Chilomoni where the workshop is situated. They have all completed a two year diploma in Tailoring and Design, using old sewing machines donated from the UK, they learned all techniques necessary for dressmaking. Since then, they have completed further training focused on accessories production, offered by international volunteers. Regular, reliable employment is essential (although hard to come by) in Malawi. With no welfare state, if you cannot work, you cannot support your family.
Cycle of Good pays above the national living wage and offers full employment rights such as paid holiday and pensions. Agnes is a widow who has two children, she says “Working with COG has seriously changed my life in a way that I have acquired some skills for example in sewing, and I can say that on my own I am an expert in my career. And talking about the salary, I am now able to support my family” Cecilia also explains the transformation for her family life “As a woman, working with Beehive has helped me to acquire some sewing skills making me an expert in my career. Meanwhile, the salary we earn by working as tailors at COG really helps in providing my home basic needs.” Cecilia has three children aged between 10 and 17 years old.