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Our Story

Cycle of Good is helping to end poverty in
one of the poorest communities in the world

Currently employing 33 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.
We do all of this by saving waste from landfill and re-purposing it into useful items that will last a lifetime.

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; we only make useful products you need, designed to last a lifetime.

cycle of cood
martha

The History of Cycle of Good

Cycle of Good is a trading initiative raising funds for our parent charity Krizevac Project (1115608) you can read all about
Krizevac here

In brief…

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 part of a circular economy; 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 refurbished, used for training or sold to create a surplus that funds international standard childcare and the building of new schools.

Back in 2010 we were gifted nearly 20,000 bicycles from Royal Mail. We chose to refurbish a limited edition of 5000 bikes in our UK warehouse; they are sold as Elephant Bikes, and each one sold pays for another bike to be sent to Malawi. That project continues to this day, with additional donated being gifted by Halfords and so far we’ve shipped well over 25,000 rescued bicycles to Malawi.

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.

Doing our bit to save the planet

Cycle of Good builds on all of this amazing work to make something even more wonderful. We collect waste inner tubes and other materials saved from landfill, ship them in our containers, filled with donated bicycles, to Malawi where tailors carefully craft what was waste into useful and beautiful items.

The Malawian workshops are made from soil eco-blocks and are all powered by the sun
We work with the Chilomoni forestry service to plant trees on our local mountain
All the off-cuts of inner-tubes and lorry curtain are made into soft furniture for use by local schools
We ship by sea in shared container space
We use plastic free packaging on all our items
We use recycled haberdashery (like zips) wherever possible
We make functional products to last a lifetime: with a lifetime guarantee on all our sewn items

tailors in malawi

Our Team In Malawi

MARY
KAMWENDO

Cycle of Good Manager, Malawi

MATILDA
JALASI

Deputy Manager

FELIA
NYIRENDA

Supervisor (cutting)

ELITA
KAMOTO

(Room Supervisor)

LENIA
MTALI

(QC Supervisor)


MARY
KAMWENDO

Cycle of Good Manager, Malawi

MATILDA
JALASI

Deputy Manager


FELIA
NYIRENDA

Supervisor (cutting)

ELITA
KAMOTO

(Room Supervisor)


LENIA
MTALI

(QC Supervisor)

Tailors and Assistants:

AGNESS
PHIRI SIKANONA

IDA M'DALANGWA
BALUTI

CECILIA CHISAKA
CHIYEMBEKEZA

CHISOMO
LOMBOLA

YAMIKANI MKWINDA
CHANDIYANG'ANA


VIOLET
TAULO

MARTHA
NALIVATA

CHARITY
KAMWAMBA

CHIKONDI
MOYO

TIYANJANE
KAWINA


DOREEN
MAGOLA

JEAN
MANGULENJE

CHIKONDI
MOYO

ETHEL
PAWALA

SAKINA
MANDOLO


ROSE CHILEMBA
MAKWANGWALA

CECILIA
NKHOMA

VICTORIA
SAYENDA

MARTHA
PETER

TIYANJANE
KAWINA


GEORGINA
NASIYAYA

JANE
WHITE

SUSAN GIDEON
KHUMALO

CHISOMO
FLORENCE CHIWAYA

PATUMA
JOHN


HANISHA
MSOPA

GELENA
KAPISENI

ANNA ATUPELE
KASSIM

MAUREEN
MASHONI

MARY
KAMWENDO

Cycle of Good Manager, Malawi

MATILDA
JALASI

Deputy Manager


FELIA
NYIRENDA

Supervisor (cutting)

ELITA
KAMOTO

(Room Supervisor)


LENIA MTALI

(QC Supervisor)

Tailors and Assistants:

AGNESS
PHIRI SIKANONA

IDA M'DALANGWA
BALUTI

CECILIA CHISAKA
CHIYEMBEKEZA

CHISOMO
LOMBOLA

YAMIKANI MKWINDA
CHANDIYANG'ANA

VIOLET
TAULO

MARTHA
NALIVATA

CHARITY
KAMWAMBA

MARIA
THOMSON

EVELYN
KALIBWINO

JEAN
MANGULENJE

ETHEL
PAWALA

CHIKONDI
MOYO

SAKINA
MANDOLO

DOREEN
MAGOLA

ROSE CHILEMBA
MAKWANGWALA

CECILIA
NKHOMA

VICTORIA
SAYENDA

MARTHA
PETER

TIYANJANE
KAWINA

GEORGINA
NASIYAYA

JANE
WHITE

SUSAN GIDEON
KHUMALO

CHISOMO FLORENCE
CHIWAYA

PATUMA
JOHN

HANISHA
MSOPA

GELENA
KAPISENI

ANNA ATUPELE
KASSIM

MAUREEN MASHONI

All of the Cycle of Good team in Malawi live in the township of Chilomoni. 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 (Tailor) is a widow who has two children, 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.

They’re a close-knit team who have a say in the way they plan their work; they chose to have a collective reward system whereby if all monthly targets are achieved, they all get a small bonus, if the targets are missed, no one gets the reward. This has led to an ethos of coaching and supporting each other rather than competitiveness! In 2020 three team members were promoted to Supervisors; knowing that there are opportunities for development, has increased aspiration and enthusiasm. We genuinely could not be blessed with a more enthusiastic and generous group to work with.

MEET THE TEAM UK

VINCE
OWEN

Trustee & MD

ZOE
KASIYA

Operations Manager

BHAVNA
NAIK

Finance Manager


MICK
HAWKINS

Bike Mechanic

ALAN
COPELAND

Bike Mechanic

TOBY
OAKES

Workshop Assistant


SARAH
GRFFITH

Product Designer

ROXY
IQBAL

Seamstress

GARETH
NICKLIN

Inventory Administrator


COUNTLESS
LOVELY VOLUNTEERS

VINCE
OWEN

Trustee and MD


ZOE
KASIYA

Operations Manager

BHAVNA
NAIK

Finance Manager


MICK
HAWKINS

Bike Mechanic

ALAN
COPELAND

Bike Mechanic


TOBY
OAKES

Workshop Assistant

SARAH
GRIFFITH

Product Designer


GARETH
NICKLIN

Inventory Administrator

ROXY
IQBAL

Seamstress


COUNTLESS
LOVELY VOLUNTEERS

cycle of good team

We’re based in a former pottery warehouse in Stoke on Trent which we rescued from dilapidation in 2017; it’s here that we collect all the donated resources needed for Malawi. It’s also where we transform 1000s of former postal delivery bikes into Elephant Bikes and get creative with Cycle of Good product design. You’ll mostly find us in scruffy jeans loading a 40’ shipping container before its life-transforming trip to Africa.

In keeping with our passion to save the planet, everything is pretty basic; we all put on jumpers before we’ll put the heating on and you’ll often find one of the mechanics fixing up an old tool instead of rushing out to buy a new one. We are helped by many volunteers who generously give their time in return for a plastic-free cup of tea in a chipped old mug, very occasionally there’s some homemade cake to go with it too!




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