Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
The V&A Waterfront sees some 3 million people through its doors over the festive season. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
  • The V&A Waterfront sees some 3 million people through its doors over the festive season.
  • Inspired by sustainability, they have come up with an authentic African festive display.
  • They’ve turned Christmas on its head with a host of installations that celebrate local artists and crafters who make use of recycled and sustainably sourced materials. 
  • It includes a giant rotating globe with continents made from recycled carpet.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.

One of South Africa’s most popular shopping malls, which sees some 3 million people through its doors over the festive season, has ditched traditional Christmas displays for a giant rotating Planet bauble and other sustainable installations.

Inspired to by sustainability, they have come up with an authentic African festive display.

Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
The giant upcycled Earth hangs suspended over the main foyer entrance to the mall. It is made by Brendan Wessels. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.

The V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, has turned Christmas on its head with a host of installations that celebrate local artists and crafters who make use of recycled and sustainably sourced materials.

One of its grandest features is a gigantic rotating globe. The installation includes other planets made from felt and recycled paper mâché sourced from the waste produced at the V&A.   

The mall partnered with over 140 African artisans to create the upcycled wonders and hopes to tell a uniquely African story that’s joyful, inspiring and shows what ‘African festivities’ are all about.

“We are building an inclusive neighbourhood in the City of Cape Town. As neighbourhood custodians, we need to create and curate a space that looks after the interests of the people who come here and the environment we’re in,” said Tinyiko Mageza, Executive Manager of Marketing at the V&A.

This is part and parcel of their commitment to ditch 40% of single use plastic on site by 2020. The V&A repurposed past décor, used wastepaper collected in their waste recovery recycling centre, and made decorations from sustainable, recycled materials.

Here’s what the installations look like:


A Summer Palace with 59 beaded creatures, including Inkosana Yame-Afrika, the bright-nosed buck cousin of Rudolf. 

Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
The Summer Palace features 59 beaded creatures. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.

This palace features flying swallows and is protected by enchanting and curious creatures made by beaders from Monkey Biz. Kids also get the chance to meet the holiday Queen Halima, Mother Earth and Luyolo, the Guardian of Joy from 7 – 24 December, rather than Father Christmas.

Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
Inkosana Yame-Afrika, the bright-nosed buck, the African cousin of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.


There’s a Joy Market, which features locally made decorations like these cute beaded reindeer.

Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
The Joy Market can be found on the top floor opposite Woolworths in the V&A’s freshly upgraded wing. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.

The Joy Market can be found on the top floor opposite Woolworths in the V&A’s freshly upgraded R180 million wing.

Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
The Joy Market can be found on the top floor opposite Woolworths in the V&A’s freshly upgraded wing. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.


And this giant rotating fibre glass planet made from upcycled materials, including recycled paper sourced from the V&A Waste Recovery Centre

The giant upcycled Earth hangs suspended over the main foyer entrance to the mall. Made by Brendan Wessels the continents were made from old carpeting, and covered with repurposed linen, craft glue and sand. Tissue paper was used for the mountains.

The installation includes other planets made from felt and recycled paper mâché sourced directly from the waste produced at the V&A by crafters at Wola Nani, which aims to enhance the capacity of the HIV/ Aids sector.


There are dozens of birds made of recycled metal, swooping through the mall...

 Photo Nick Muzik/ V&A Waterfront.
There are dozens of birds made of recycled metal. Photo Nick Muzik/ V&A Waterfront.

...and cascading baskets. 

Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
The BaTonga Cascade uses sustainable llala palm for the Tonga baskets. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
Buhera and Wolof Chandeliers are made from llala palm, njodax (indigenous Senegalese grass) . Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
Dunoon Cascades baskets are made from imisi reeds from a conservation corridor in Table Bay Nature Reserve. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.

Each installation is distinctive and the baskets come from all over Africa, with some made in Cape Town by women in Dunoon.


In the Watershed are two gigantic floral chandeliers made from 2,800 found bottles.  
Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
Colour Extravaganza Upcycled Plastic Chandeliers. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.
Colour Extravaganza Upcycled Plastic Chandeliers. Photo Jay Caboz/ Business Insider South Africa.


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