Leading manufacturers of thermoplastic products, Structure-flex, have donated lorry curtain fabric to Cycle of Good, a charity which upcycles materials into bags and accessories to support communities in Malawi.

Employing ten skilled tailors in Chilomoni Township, the charity turns surplus or waste materials into goods including bags and accessories for sale in the UK. The off-cuts from Structure-flex’s lorry tension curtains would normally go to waste but are fashioned into the ‘Martha’, a large tote bag perfect for shopping and leisure.

Paul Reeve, Managing Director of Structure-Flex, said “We’re delighted to be supporting Cycle of Good. They are a fantastic charity, helping to support children and their families in one of the world’s poorest countries. It’s great to see something which normally adorns a lorry turned into something so fashionable!”

As a charity, money from the sale of the lorry-curtain tote bags pays for donated materials to be shipped to Malawi and turned into products by the tailors, who are paid above the African country’s living wage. All profits go to fund the work of the children’s centre in Chilomoni which provides early years care and family support to around 2,000 vulnerable children.

Kelly Shenton, Business Manager at Cycle of Good, said “Thank you so much for the lorry curtain Structure-flex so very kindly donated to us. Without it, we’d have a big hole in our product range”.

Thanks to the variety of colours and fabric grades that Structure-flex use, they are able to donate a wide range of materials. The off-cuts are packed into large wooden crates and sent to Malawi on a regular basis to help ensure they have a constant supply of materials to turn into fashionable and desirable gifts.

Malawi is a landlocked country in southern Africa which is one of the world’s least developed. It has a very rural population with a largely agricultural economy, widespread poverty and low life expectancy.

Cycle of Good began by renovating UK post office bicycles. Part of a collective of social enterprises employing over 500 people in Chilomoni Township, they now employ ten tailors who were all sponsored to complete a two-year diploma.

The Martha tote bag is manufactured from the PVC covered polyester donated by Structure-flex and joins a collection of bags, belts and accessories manufactured from waste and surplus materials including box strapping, inner tubes and coffee sacks.

Established 50 years, Structure-Flex is a family-owned business which specialises in manufacturing products from flexible plastics using high-frequency welding. As well as being the UK’s leading suppliers of lorry tension curtains, they provide a range of products including proof load test bags for cranes, air lift bags for the diving industry and flood barriers.

For more details and to order a Cycle of Good Martha tote-bag, visit https://www.cycleofgood.com

For more details on Structure-flex visit https://www.structure-flex.co.uk/