Tracy Rug­gier

Fairlady - - CLEAN UP YOUR ACT - it­snot­madeinchina.co.za

It’s Not Made in China is a brand of bot­tled wa­ter that came about when Tracy no­ticed the in­flux of Chi­nese goods into South Africa, which saw many lose their jobs. Tracy and her hus­band have al­ways been pas­sion­ate about young, up­com­ing artists, and hit upon the idea of merg­ing up­cy­cling and art.

‘There isn’t a plat­form for up­com­ing artists to mar­ket them­selves,’ says Tracy. ‘So we started It’s Not Made in China wa­ter. We wanted to make a unique bot­tle, some­thing that peo­ple would want to keep. And we wanted to en­cour­age artists to put their art­work on it, hence the square “hip glass”.’ So they sent out a call-to-ac­tion to artists to con­trib­ute de­signs.

The bot­tle-mak­ing process is just as cre­ative. ‘It starts with a pre­form, which is like a test tube,’ Tracy ex­plains. ‘It’s made of poly­eth­yl­ene tereph­tha­late (PET), so it’s re­cy­clable, safe to drink from and re­use, and it can de­com­pose. We buy the pre­form, then blow it into a square shape – so not ev­ery bot­tle comes out iden­ti­cal. We don’t throw away any ma­te­rial, and we like that the bot­tles are not all per­fect – it adds to the orig­i­nal­ity.’

Why plas­tic and not glass? ‘If there was only glass, that would also be detri­men­tal to the en­vi­ron­ment. There’s a balance, and we need to work out when plas­tic is right and when glass is right.’

‘We don’t throw away any ma­te­rial, and we like that the [wa­ter] bot­tles are not all per­fect – it adds to the orig­i­nal­ity.’

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