G-lish collects plastic rubbish and scrap African cloth and trains youth and women to transform those materials into twine. Skilled basket weavers weave the plastic and cloth twine into baskets, home-wares and art work using traditional weaving methods—thus preserving cultural heritage while helping alleviate poverty and tackling entrenched and overlooked environmental waste problems. We won a SEED Initiative award for sustainable social enterprise in 2010, one of 30 awarded globally.
Since 2010 G-lish Foundation has achieved the following impacts:
- Prevented 358, 600 drinking water plastic bags from being burned and from entering rivers and farming soil by recycling them into high value products;
- Because we pay producers by the 200 pieces of twine cut and twisted, and we record every payment on paper and in an Excel spreadsheet, and because 1 plastic bag = 1 twine, it's simple to tally how many plastic bags have been used since 2010 and easy to track this impact;
- Prevented 2, 250 yards of waste cloth from being burned or thrown into rivers;
- = Over 3 metric tonnes of recycled waste materials;
- Trained 81 producers on how to work with recycled materials.
Social and Economic Impact
- Two full-time Ghanaian staff have been employed;
- 81 producers, who otherwise undertake subsistence farming, work with G-lish Foundation and are paid prices in line with Fair Wage Guide rates for Ghana at http://fairwageguide.org/;
- Helped 75 producers access foreign markets generating higher income for producers;
- Instances of violence have reduced due to regular incomes in basket making households;
- Visibly increased self confidence in the women producers;
- As a result of counseling and working with producers, children in G-lish villages are in school;
- 25 producers opened savings account with rural banks and save regularly;
- 25 weavers received design and colour theory training to develop their design skills;
- 250 straw basket weavers have increased awareness about fair prices from 6 village field visits under the Fair Market Project funded by the Australian High Commission;
- 50 international buyers of straw baskets were surveyed on prices paid for STRAW baskets.