Repurpose Schoolbag

Case study curated by Juliet Yok Yin Wong Min, Jimmy Witters, Fergus Ward and Alexander Shanmugham

This case study is an example of a project that at its core, has the following design values:

Small & Local Economies, Inventiveness, Recuse & Recycling, Community and Education

Design Problems:

  1. Education (better facility/resources for children from underprivileged communities)
  2. Environment, especially Plastic pollution
  3. Energy (access to a light source)
  4. Employment for the community


How these problems are tackled?

  1. Providing a suitable schoolbag to children (durable, waterproof, have reflective stripes)
  2. Material used: Plastic Bags (20 per bag)
  3. The bag includes a solar powered lamp
  4. The company employs people from the community


Other interesting aspects:

  1. Giving Partners: Other companies can sponsor a particular school
  2. Purpose Textile Bins in strategic places (local schools, churches, and businesses): the community can support the company
  3. Potential strategies that the company is considering: developing other “fashion” products to fund the schoolbags


Rethaka (Pty) Ltd: A for-profit social enterprise based in South Africa.