Zanzibar is like a dream! After a fantastic holiday you take home a suitcase full of memories and souvenirs. Only the empty bottles of your favorite drink are left behind…
All packaging of the consumed food and drink will never leave the island… Like many other tropical islands, Zanzibar has a bad waste processing system, which means that mountains of empty (wine) bottles end up in the environment. The Zanzibar Chako sees an opportunity here. An opportunity to clean up their beautiful island, create jobs and create beautiful products.
Chako is Upcycling pur sang. With minimal input (by that we mean without a complicated technical process that costs a lot of energy) beautiful products are created and at the same time it provides solid employment. Mostly young people and women work at Chako, a group that would otherwise find it difficult to find a job.
Chako's mission is simple, clean up waste and provide a solid income for locals! In recent years, Chako has grown from a simple 'shed' behind a hotel in Stone Town into a clean, spacious workshop, where nearly forty employees now earn a good income. Chako trains new employees to become true craftsmen in glass processing or woodworking. In this way the local woodcarving culture is preserved.
Every day, a team in a traditional 'Daladala' (truck) visits various famous dump sites and the hotels of the island. Their mission: to collect all empty bottles before they end up in nature.
Once back at the Chako workshop, the upcycling process begins. The bottles are sorted by color, the labels are removed, cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. In the next step, the Chako employees add the real value. The ladies of Chako cut grooves in the bottles after which they are broken using heat and cold. A two-part polishing process creates a safe soft edge on the glass.
For example, Chako makes water glasses, carafes and vases. With the addition of skilled carvings, pots, tea lights and lamps are also made. All with a modern look and the typical Chako Zanzibar twist.
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