Restraw collaboration


RESTRAW officially started after an epic backpacking honeymoon adventure in 2016, where my husband and I travelled to, and dived in, all sorts of areas around the globe. A very sad reality that hit us time and time again was that we saw just how much plastic was affecting our planet. Our oceans and islands, and just about every area we went to (even the most remote places), had some level of plastic infiltrating and taking over. We realised how out of control the whole situation has gotten. It’s one thing to know about it but seeing it with your own eyes is a another story altogether and really changes something in you.

We came across reusable straws for the first time in Bali and it was so incredibly awesome. They resonated with us from the second we saw them. Not only are they brilliant for the environment but they are pretty amazing to sip through as well. After a long chat with one of our environmentalist friends about the gigantic plastic issues the world is facing, we knew that we needed to bring the straws to South Africa. Once back in South Africa in 2017, we started our mission to bring RESTRAW to life.

RESTRAW is a change in mind-set, it’s a mind shift. Our motto is rethink, reuse, reset. It’s about rethinking the way we do things, reusing and recycling everything that we can, and resetting for a better, plastic-free future.

We hope that our RESTRAWS resonate with you and that you get as much joy from them as we do.

RESTRAW Products

Our products have been carefully conceptualised and crafted to be as environmentally friendly as possible, from start to finish. We use sustainable material as far as we can and produce as much with our South African brothers and sisters as possible.

restraw sleeveOur glass straws are manufactured and branded locally, each one being hand crafted with the utmost care. We have partnered with an incredible company called Upcycle (www.upcycle.co.za) to make our beautiful hemp sleeves. They teach and empower people in various communities to make a living from the resources they have at hand. We use 100% hemp fabric for the sleeves as it is incredibly sustainable, cruelty free, antibacterial and antifungal. Our packaging is made from recycled and biodegradable material. We have requested that our suppliers stay away from using plastic for any of our products and rather use paper if necessary.


Visit (www.restraw.co.za) for more info on getting your own straws






Upcycle getting involved


Thanks to our amazing network of people that donate us all sorts of materials and cool things to experiment with, we have been able to train incredible people that have previously not had work, how to make things to sell at markets to create an income for themselves.

mayWhen RESTRAW came along we didn’t really have a well-established income for the people that where making things to sell at markets so this was a great opportunity for a stable income because for every RESTRAW pouch they sew they get paid for. Teaming up with RESTRAW is a perfect combination, RESTRAW needing the RESTRAW pouches and being able to pay people for the product they were making and Upcycle having a skilled bunch of hard working people that are willing to learn anything new.

Beacause our team are not afraid to learn and understand that you cannot get it right the first time, when people are motivated enough they find a way of doing what they want to do and make it happen. They have spent many hours learning ad growing thier confidence levels and are really keen to take on new challenges.

ur team has been creating new products from all the materials we have been donated and learning how to use the sewing machines without holding back or being afraid to learn. It is an exceptionally refreshing environment when you don’t have to nag anyone to do their job or when people don’t drag their feet every time they have to learn a new skill and this is why Upcycle thrives, we always make the most out of our days, we look for people who are willing to put in the effort and then put all our effort into them.


RESTRAW pouches sold separately or with straws

www. restraw.co.za


Upcycle’s Investec recycled glass project

Investec Glass recycling

Scope of project:

To supply Investec with 5 000 hand cut, polished and sand blasted glasses from discarded wine bottles. To further our training project for the development and upskilling of community people as well as create awareness to all involved about the necessity of reducing our impact on the environment.with sweets


With the assistance of Investec's agents, we have set out to source 5 000 used wine bottles. These will then be hand cut into glasses to be used in the Investec cantten. The bottles will be sandblased with Investec's logo as well as their by-line. The purpose and requirment for this project is to upcycle the wine bottles into drinking glasses, while creating an opportunity to involve community members in the project.


 Roll out:

Upcycle started  this journey sourcing wine bottles from many local restaurants, participating companies, private individuals and street collectors. Upcycle also included purchasing of glass bottles from Remade Germiston to secure sufficient source material simply to maintain the project till the community “buy in” could support the project alone.

It has been inspirational to see how the community has rallied around the initiative to ensure all are contributing and making a difference to the planet.  It's truly remarkable to see how keen the community is in terms of making a difference and assisting with the project. We have several restaurants that have allocated space to store bottle for our weekly collection. Several of the shops have even volunteered to allocate drop off points for the projects continued collection of wine bottles from local residents.  We are also delighted at the number of individuals who have driven from near and far, to deliver the wine bottles directly to our front door.

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Story so far:

Upcycle is always looking to provide an environment in which there is training, skills development and growth of new businesses and projects such as the “Investec glass project” to further develop our communities.

upcycled wine bottle1 bgAs we have an affinity for glass, Upcycle has put a lot of time and energy into mastering the art of cutting, polishing and finishing off glass products. Once we had established the best practice of making glasses, vases, planters etc. we took our skills to the Orange Farm community where we have trained unemployed individuals to master these tasks. We have taught them the basics art of glass cutting as well as how to work with glass as part of the basics of upcycling waste. This community has been taught sewing, and various other upcycle skills over the years.

The basic process of cutting and polishing glass can be done at home and requires a small space with a small outlay. This is a great way for individuals to make and sell their own products and create their own environmentally sound small businesses.  It is also an ideal opportunity for communities to pull together to create additional income to support their family and friends. These products are handmade and each glass should take no longer than half an hour, from beginning to end, to produce.

Upcycle has been doing training on this particular technique for over a year, which is what lead Investec to secure their 5 000 glass order. The process of manufacturing such a large scale order requires more specialised equipment and clearly a larger space for the manufacturing proces.  Due to the size of the Investec order, Upcycle has been lucky enough to expand it's operation.

This is the point at which some of our community members that have really loved working with glass and have master the understanding of how glass breaks, were invited to join us in creating these 5 000 glasses. They have now learned how to take their small business to the next level and understand the difference between individual handmade product and mass production. We have Employed 3 people out of the Orange farm community members to help us complete this order. Upcycle is working hard at finding more opportunities to grow this aspect, to be able to afford them fulltime employment.

green bottle light fitting basic 2We have also had the opportunity to pay a lady with her own transport to collect bottles for us.

We have developed relationships with 15 restaurants and many individuals to collect bottles for us and support this project.

Several street collectors have been able to sell glass bottles to us making their range of product better and of more value.

We have also been able to set up 2 more training days to master the art of glass recycle in the orange farm community.

Going forward:

Through the order placed by Investec we have been able to take our glass project from a fledgling to the level required to meet the demands.  We have the equipment and expertise to create and make almost anything from glass bottles.  In order for it to continue to support the community and be successful there has to be ongoing interest from the public as well as private sector to continue to purchase the products in order to sustain what has been created. 

crochet cactus planter bgList of partisipating Businesses:

Fat zebra  

ADDRESS Linden - 71 7th st linden, randburg, johannesburg
PHONE NUMBER 082 469 5757 

Hands on retreat

ADDRESS  Craighall - 4 Argyle Ave, craighall, Sandton
PHONE NUMBER 011 326 0066

Thunder gun

ADDRESS Blackheath - shop 5 Palala center, beyers naude dr, blackheath,
PHONE NUMBER 011 678 7224 

Dopio Zero 

ADDRESS Greenside - Cnr. Barry Hertzog & Gleneagles Rd (Entrance Mowbray Ave), Greenside, Johannesburg
PHONE 011 646 8740


ADDRESS Greenside 10 Gleneagles Rd Greenside, Johannesburg
PHONE 011 486 2255


ADDRESS Linden - 4th Ave, Linden, Randburg, Johannesburg
PHONE 011 888 7452

The Glass lady

ADDRESS Linden - 4th ave, Linden 
PHONE 082 851 1871

Whole earth

ADDRESS Strijdom Park - 7 Tungsten Road, Strijdom Park, 2196 
PHONE 011 791- 4537

logobottles in recycle bin

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