Angaza - Upcycling Accessories from Kigali

The idea forAngaza emerged during an event for the World Environment in 2012 co-founder Maria Mayanja and a couple of classmates from her Environmental Engineering class had the idea to begin thinking about how waste could be turned into something of value through upcycling. After discovering that nothing was being done with the waste material from advertising banners in Kigali, Maria managed to collect some of them and began making bag prototypes out of them. It was during a feedback session of showing the prototypes to friends, that she met Monica, today her business partner and co-founder of Angaza. Angaza is a Swahili word that means "to illuminate" or "to shed light".
Angaza's Head of Production, Mutabazi, was the first tailor in Kigali to agree to work with this new material and different designs. The team also works with local women co-operatives on various orders. Angaza wants to show the world that a slight shift of perspective can bring about the most unexpected results. Angaza makes products for people who see things in a different light, the bold lovers of colour who want to make the world a better place and more importantly for those who feel that convention is boring. Through this, they hope to expand into a social enterprise that offers green jobs to those who need them in Rwanda. Angaza wants to revolutionize environmental education in Rwanda, by engaging students in fun and hands-on activities, so they may grow up knowing the importance of protecting the environment, and thereby engender a more conscious generation of Africans rooted in sustainable practices.
In addition to this, Angaza wants to collaborate with communities to come up with solutions to environmental problems that they may face.

Follow Angaza on Facebook and watch a documentary on Angaza on CNN.