Circulating waste, one ton at a time.

Plasticity. transforms waste materials into functional up-cycled products that add value to people’s everyday life. They have, as of today, saved 4 tons of plastic from going to landfills. Meet Tessa, a hard-working and self-taught circular economy entrepreneur. 

 “We are a mom and daughter team creating high-quality, handmade products in our studio in Graaff-Reinet with considered materials for people who value beautiful, eco-friendly products crafted with care for people and planet!

Plasticity. gets waste from local recyclers, 1 ton at a time, but also from donations from people & companies (grocery bags, retail waste, industrial waste). Plasticity has already secured partnerships with L’Occitane, Polo, Montego, Volvo. They use their waste (packaging excess, bags, etc.) to create fashion items that those companies can use as corporate gifting.
tessa and her mom plasticity
tessa o halloran plasticity

Tessa O'Halloran


Since 2017, Plasticity re-imagined waste materials and transformed them into functional everyday, up-cycled products that add value to your life.

Plasticity is based in the Eastern Cape, the province with the highest rate of unemployment, currently sitting at 47.1%, in the country with the highest level of unemployment in the world. “I believe we are uniquely positioned to make an impact in the Eastern Cape by creating opportunities for skills-based training, supporting local plastic recyclers and giving second chances.”

I see waste materials differently. I believe waste is too valuable a resource to waste. 



As of today, we have ordered 4 tons of plastics from local recyclers. It is 4 tons of plastics out of landfills.



Landfills in Cape Town are almost full. We will have a waste crisis in the next 5-10 years and I’m trying to change that.”

Plasticity team

hasmitha plasticity impact team

Hasmitha Rangaswamy

MSc Management & Digital Business

IE Business School, Spain

visha plasticity team

Vishwa Bhatt

BSc Political Science & Data Science

American University, US

Insights into the H-Accelerator

Through the H-Accelerator, Tessa sets out to improve her marketing & export strategy. Within the program, the team has worked on identifying customers in international markets as well as working on the messaging and unique selling point. They address eco-friendly customers that want high-quality and long-lasting products. 

Plasticity has created important partnerships in South Africa. Tessa and her team distribute their hand-made products through markets, stockists and corporate companies. There is still work to do in South Africa but having some international students within the team helped her better understand the market in Europe and in the US. 

Those markets have stricter policies that make it quite complicated to use waste materials as material inputs. Some companies in the past have been sued or prejudiced because some of their materials contained materials seen as toxic.

tessa o halloran plasticity

Tessa O'Halloran


“Greatful to be a part of this cohort and for the opportunity to learn from and grow with the international students my business has been paired with in Madrid, Spain and Washington DC in the US.”

A story of persistence

In its process to scale, Plasticity faces daily challenges that never scared them. Tessa told us that they “were thinking about buying a heat press to reduce the time it takes to create” their products. Currently, all the products are completely hand-made. Buying a press would cut costs, but it would mean to reduce the freedom that they have in creating products. Right now, they create products that people need in their every day life, and create new products every week.



Sometimes, South Africa runs out of electricity. Electricity breaks are planned and communicated in advance but still, Plasticity’s production can be affected for up to 4 hours per day. 

Cutting plastic waste plasticity impact startup

Next years will be extremely exciting. To export products, Plasticity will need to have a better understanding of the life cycle of the materials that they use. Another challenges will be to retain customers and finding new stockists across the globe. We advise you to follow her progress on her website or her very-active instagram page.  

plasticity student team hasmitha ies business school

Hasmitha Rangaswamy


“The program was super helpful in terms of skill building and practical experience. With Tessa we were able to shape brand image, persona and strategy to ensure we have an USP against competition”