From telecom employee to tire upcycling entrepreneur – story of Recycla in Morocco
Before finding his passion in tire recycling and producing art pieces from end-of-life tires, Abdel Ghafour worked 4 years in the telecommunication sector. Driven by art and willing to contribute to urban space development, he started searching for opportunities in tire recycling. In Mireleft, a small city in the south of Morocco, Mr. Ghafour learned how to cut and process end-of-life tires to reuse the material. Sometime later, in January 2019, Abdel Ghafour started making original shapes as an artist in his workshop in Agadir, Morocco.
According to Mr. Ghafour, it is rather difficult to collect end-of-life tires in Morocco, as there is no well-established tire collection system in the country yet. The entrepreneur sources end-of-life tires chiefly from tire shops or garages that usually store between 100 and 500 used items and happily share the material with the artist.
The same year Abdel Ghafour became an entrepreneur and launched his workshop called Recycla. The products upcycled from scrap tires by Mr. Ghafour are mainly artisanal goods such as belts, bags and wallets, decorations and house furniture such chairs, tables, desks, indoor and outdoor sculptures as well as flower and plant pots. The products are handmade and lifetime lasting, not deteriorating over time, only need to be polished when necessary. Abdel Ghafour says that if outdoor products exposed to direct sunlight receive cracks in several years of use, they will be easily repaired at Recycla’s workshop.
Seeking expansion and new opportunities, Abdel Ghafour is looking forward to employing more people and explore new markets for his products. Currently, the entrepreneur merchandizes his goods through social media and sells them chiefly locally in Morocco. Nevertheless, the entrepreneur is becoming known outside of Morocco – Mr. Ghafour works with clients from abroad who are passionate about saving the environment and who travel to Morocco to see the art made in Recycla workshop from end-of-life tires.
Talking about the future of his enterprise, Mr. Ghabour shared his ambition to transform Recycla’s workshop into a zero waste factory by dealing with the production residues.