Learning through the process of Plasticity
Plasticity was created out of the desire to make.
Tessa has always been creative, and wanted to start creating with materials she found around her. From a young age, she had been concerned about, and aware of her impact on the environment.
Tessa began making things from the abundance of plastic waste materials I found in my home and environment. I wanted to one day be creating a product that made a difference, and had a positive impact on my environment and community.
She was inspired to start her brand because she wanted to contribute to the South Africa circular economy and help to grow the upcycling industry. She believes that waste materials are overlooked, and that they hold so much potential for beauty. We just have to look at them differently to see it.
Tessa feels plastic in particular could be used better. We shouldn’t be letting it go to landfill, we can upcycle it and give it a new, even better, life. She wants to help raise awareness about the life-cycle and materiality of the things around us. Waste materials don’t just go away – they are sent somewhere to be hidden from us, away from our everyday lives, but we keep contributing more and more waste to these spaces. If we take the time to re-examine and re-evaluate these materials, we’ll quickly realize they still have value after their intended, and can be made into useful, and beautiful, things that we want to keep. We’ll also begin to realize the impact all materials have on the environment, and hopefully consider the environmental consequences to our lifestyles. Working with waste materials has helped her to understand our relationship with consumerism, and see that she can make a difference by buying better. Each purchase has a butterfly effect.
Tessa’s products are created from waste plastic material which is sourced from her immediate friends and family, and her extended community. She also buys plastic from a local recycling center. The waste plastic material is sorted and cleaned. We take sheets of plastic and layer them together, then use heat to fuse these layers into one stronger unit. This fused plastic becomes the material for all of our products.
Plasticity adds a lining of organic hemp because Tess’s loves hemp as a material. It’s durable, sustainable and luxurious. The production of hemp material uses a significantly smaller amount of water than cotton production, and it grows quickly. It’s important to her that all the elements of the products she design are as sustainable as possible, and as new, better alternatives become available, I will research them and improve the product’s environmental footprint.
We make bags and accessories that are made to last. They’re special, sustainable and handmade with love in the Karoo.
Tessa offers advice to others wanting to start their own businesses or brands. She encourages others to learn by doing, and don’t be afraid to dream big dreams. Every amazing brand and product had a small beginning. You just have to begin. Some of the best advice she has taken is to begin badly, and just make something, even if it’s not what you’d envisioned, you will learn from the process.
There is an amazing community of people out there who will love what you want to make, you just have to find them. The world needs people who will dream and do.
Tessa believes she is definitely still learning everyday, there is so much to still learn about having a business, and there are always one hundred product ideas she wants to find the time to design and source for. It’s an ongoing learning process.
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