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TUT Sustainable Together Design Project Gets International Recognition

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TUT Sustainable Together Design Project Gets International Recognition

Taking into account its impact on the environment, the Department of Design Studies (Fashion Design programme) at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) is constantly seeking to reduce its environmental impact. To fill potholes with non-biodegradable (non-decomposing) textile waste, the TUT Sustainable Together design project has recently been launched as the latest example of environmental consciousness.

6,000 euros of funding has been provided by the Goethe-Institut and British Council for the promotion of a sustainable circular model in South Africa in collaboration with Lampstand Teacher Training College, the project’s Kenyan partner. Linder Cheruno is the leader of the latter.

TUT Sustainable Together Design Project Gets International Recognition

Christopher Tom, a fourth-year fashion design student, collaborated with Soloshna Naidoo, Professor Anne Mason, and Karla Tissiman on the project, along with Cheruno. Approximately 90 million tons of textile waste are produced annually in South Africa, but only 1% of it is recycled. In order to ensure that textile waste does not end up in fertile landfills, a sustainable model had to explore ways to recycle it successfully.

TUT Sustainable Together Design Project Gets International Recognition

Engagement with the community! In conjunction with TUT Sustainable Together design project, women develop pot-fillers at the Tshwane Leadership Foundation, Burgers Park, Pretoria.

There are dire consequences to the environment due to the fashion and textile industries’ involvement in waste disposal. It is common for students in Fashion Design to produce many garments. Textile waste is discarded in large quantities into bins during the course of their studies.

Using this information, Tom and the team propose finding a sustainable and innovative business solution to the pothole problem.

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It is estimated that there are 25 million potholes on South African roads as of the end of last year, according to the South African National Roads Agency. There are more serious consequences associated with potholes than mere inconveniences. They can damage vehicles and even result in devastating road accidents in some cases.

It is expected that Tom will collect the textile waste and sort it into piles of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste at the Department of Design Studies (Fashion Design). Afterwards, the waste will be shredded and wetted before being moulded into golf-ball-sized balls called pot-fillers. A cement and tar finish will be applied to the latter when it is inserted into the potholes.

Since the pot-fillers were developed by women affected by unemployment and gender-based violence (GBV) at the Tshwane Leadership Foundation in Pretoria, the project is also community-based and nation-building. For the time that participants spent making pot-fillers, they received a stipend and meal packs.

Tom and his team, under the supervision of the local municipality, filled potholes in Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria, in March. In order to assess the effectiveness of the pot-fillers, a close monitoring is being conducted.

In Kenya, Prof Mason managed the project and it was successful as well.

At Levi’s Haus of Strauss Africa, Parktown North, Johannesburg, on 13 May 2023 between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m., the TUT Sustainable Together design project will be showcased. In addition to the documentary, the TUT team will display a list of previous projects in South Africa and Kenya.

TUT Sustainable Together Design Project Gets International Recognition

Women participants of the TUT Sustainable Together design project in Kenya.

TUT Sustainable Together Design Project Gets International Recognition

The TUT Sustainable Together design project will be showcased at Levi’s, the Haus of Strauss Africa, Parktown North, Johannesburg, on 13 May 2023.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711 Email: [email protected]

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