Esethu Cenga, 26, co-founded Rewoven, a textile recycling company that is about creating a circular economy in the clothing and textiles sector to build a more sustainable future for the industry. She turned down a great job offer to give her attention to establishing Rewoven, which at the time was a mere concept. She understood the risks and volatile nature of entrepreneurship, but went ahead.
“I knew that most small businesses in South Africa fail within the first three years of operation. Nevertheless, I knew deep down that I would regret never taking the time to pursue it.”
In 2018, Cenga and her team began producing prototypes of recycled fabric to be experimented with by manufacturers and designers. Late in 2018 Rewoven made it into the top 10 finalists for the H&M Foundation Global Change award, an initiative focused on the development of early stage innovations. Last year, Rewoven was accepted into the E-Squared Accelerator programme, which provides support with the aim of contributing to transformation and the creation of jobs in South Africa. The long-term goal for Rewoven is to create more jobs while shaping a more sustainable clothing and textiles industry
Cenga believes in the importance of trusting intuition. “I try to make decisions from a place of intellect and logic, though I think that as women, we have a really strong intuition naturally,” she says. Her journey into business has taught her to be comfortable with change and uncertainty, being able to ride the wave to come out the other side in the best possible way.