June: National Environment Month – Hout Bay Leads the Way in Environmental Awareness and Action

National Environment Month is celebrated in June, with the South African government and captains of industry-leading the way by stimulating awareness on environmental issues and challenging all to become agents for change.

by Tia

The environment encompasses the surroundings where individuals, animals, or plants live and operate, and it is significantly influenced by human activities. World Environment Day, observed every year on June 5th, aims to raise awareness and promote actions to safeguard our environment. At Bay Harbour Market, we want to highlight three of our traders – Leza, Peaches Skateboarding, and Labels for Less – along with a renowned initiative in Hout Bay, Re.Bay.Re.Use, all of whom are committed to sustainable business practices.

These amazing people’s goals started with a desire to turn their hobby into a passion and help the environment in the same breath.

 LEZA was founded by sustainable designer, Jodi Leza Thurtell who recycles textile waste into fashion. LEZA, founded on sustainability principles, addresses textile waste, a pervasive issue across industries. In Cape Town alone, 70,000 tons of textile waste overwhelms landfills annually. Recognising the urgency, Thurtell repurposes this waste into clothing, accessories, and décor, demonstrating a profitable model. While still evolving, LEZA pioneers sustainable practices, engaging with both businesses and individuals. Future plans include workshops and digital resources to promote upcycling. Long-term goals involve consultancy and collaboration to reshape waste into new products. Embracing sustainability begins with education and awareness, which are crucial steps toward a greener future.

Peaches Skateboarding was founded by Dante Bazzea, he is a skateboard designer who designs and prints locally while also selling locally-made branded boards.

Peaches Skateboarding was founded by Dante Bazzea, a local street skater and skate brand entrepreneur. Peaches Skateboarding is rooted in Cape Town’s vibrant skater culture and is passionate about giving back to the community. Through their deck exchange initiative, they donate functional skateboards to Ziyaad’s Skate school in Hout Bay. Peaches Skateboarding’s main challenge is sourcing top-quality decks, these have to be imported from Canada, but they strive to minimise their carbon footprint by producing locally and supporting creative repurposing projects as much as possible . “Sustainability is a journey, and we encourage exploring unconventional solutions and collaborating to create win-win outcomes” Says Dante. In the past, Peaches Skateboarding have donated old un-skateable decks to Dave of SkateShades, who repurposed them into funky sunglasses.  This collaboration not only reduced waste but also supported a creative local business.

Labels for Less is a thrift store founded by Melanie Spickernell, she sells good quality second-hand goods plus end-of-range items.

Davidow loves the idea of recycling clothing, it helps the environment and in return, you are getting a quality item at a third of the price. Labels for Less supports Charity Shops so it’s a win-win all around. Labels for Less donates to Darg monthly and buys from charity shops from time to time, other than that Labels for Less offers a shopping voucher in exchange for clothing.

Re.Bag.Re.Use is an initiative that repurposes empty bread bags into multifunctional products. Items are crocheted by a group of ladies from Imizamo Yetho in Hout Bay.

Excess plastic is wreaking havoc on the environment. These ladies are part of an initiative where plastic is reduced from landing up in the environment and at the same time giving them an opportunity to unleash their creativity, and earn some extra cash.  All you need are scissors, a crochet hook, and plastic – perfect for times of lockdown or power cuts. Re.Bag.Re.Use has repurposed plastic to the equivalent of 82,775 bread bags into versatile items so far, reimbursing its 15 participating ladies upon completion. Their main challenge is dealing with dirty plastic; they can’t repurpose food-contaminated material for health reasons. They aim to expand this initiative in Hout Bay and replicate it elsewhere, collaborating with corporations to repurpose their plastic. A single plastic bag may seem worthless, but to some, it’s a chance to provide for their family through creativity.

As Thurtell aptly puts it, “The challenge of waste may seem overwhelming at times, but even the smallest steps toward sustainability can accumulate into significant change. Once you take that initial step, it sets off a chain reaction of innovative thinking and improvement. “

Bay Harbour Market is open every Friday between 17:00 pm – 21:00 pm, and every Saturday to Sunday from 09:30 am to 16:00 pm. For more information about the traders and what they have to offer, please visit Bay Harbour Market at http://bayharbour.co.za/ and follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bayharbour, Twitter https://twitter.com/bayharbourmkt , and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bayharbourmarket/ .

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