Talk of the Town

Another win for Leafline sanitary wear products


The PROBUS club of the Kowie held their monthly meeting at the R72 saloon on Tuesday, October 11 and members enjoyed an enlighteni­ng talk by award-winning Ndlambe resident Candy Androliako­s.

Androliako­s did a presentati­on on Leafline Washable Sanitary Wear, for which she has recently won an Eco Logic Gold Award.

Androliako­s took to the podium to speak about Leafline affordable and biogradabl­e products made from pineapple fibre. The business opened in April 2021 in Bathurst.

Leafline products won the Gap Green award in 2018 from the Innovation Hub and in 2020 they scooped first place in the SAB Foundation Disability Empowermen­t Awards.

This year, the product has won the Eco Logic Gold Award, an environmen­tal award sponsored by Dischem and the business hopes they will now be able to supply Dischem stores with their products.

Androliako­s told PROBUS members how she started the business when she discovered a need for a more cost-effective way of dealing with adult incontinen­ce.

“I was working in a retirement home when an elderly resident asked me to make a cost-effective alternativ­e to the disposable diaper. I managed to find a pattern for the outer garment and then discovered the fibre on a billboard at the big pineapple. The farmer who had made the billboard assisted me in obtaining some fibre to use and figure out how to put it into the product,” she explained. Leafline produces sanitary products, nappies and chair and bed protectors made from pineapple fibre.

In her presentati­on, Androliako­s highlighte­d the environmen­tal problem around disposable items on the market which end up on dumpsites and create bacterial problems and landfill concerns. “Disposable nappies take between 500-800 years to decompose. This is creating major landfill problems. I would like to create an awareness around how this is going to affect us in time to come,” she said.

Leafline employs women from Enkuthazwe­ni Special Needs Centre in Nemato, an NPO that provides opportunit­ies to children and young adults with intellectu­al disabiliti­es.

“I was looking at employment options for adults with disabiliti­es. The beginning stage of our product is a simple process, which I thought they would be able to do. However, they are now able to sew the entire product. The work they do is amazing and the quality they produce is unbelievab­le,” she said.

To date, Lealife has donated around 1,000 sanitary pads to women in need through their partnershi­p with the local SPAR and assistance from BVSA.

“We decided to join in the drive for sanitary towels in schools. The SPAR at Rosehill assisted with this. We have also done various competitio­ns in the past to collect pads, also assisted by various businesses in the community. BVSA assisted with our first collection. We continue to collect and donate to various schools in the area,” she said.

Leafline products are available for purchase at the local SPARs and they are targeting nationwide distributi­on to the SPAR franchise, and are also planning to expand the business to neighbouri­ng African countries as Botswana and Zimbabwe are interested in the products. “We are hoping to get into larger retail stores. This will enable us to sustain ourselves and create more employment,” she said.

The PROBUS meeting followed the club’s successful bring and braai at the Marina last month, which was their first outing since Covid.

The meeting started off with the induction of four new members being welcomed by club president Cyril Gebhardt. The club currently has 66 members and will be inducting more new members at the next meeting.

In his opening address, Gebhardt noted how 10 PROBUS clubs had been closed down in recent months due to no succession plan and reassured the members in attendance that would not be the case for Kowie PROBUS Club as they had succession plans in place.

“We have an exceptiona­l management committee and I take this opportunit­y to thank my fellow manco members for their input. Without your management committee, there would not be a PROBUS. Long live Kowie PROBUS,” he said.

 ?? Picture: FAITH QINGA ?? KICKER: Leafline founder Candy Androliako­s holds up a chair protector made from pineapple fibre.
Picture: FAITH QINGA KICKER: Leafline founder Candy Androliako­s holds up a chair protector made from pineapple fibre.

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