Tosheka Textiles Ltd. is a social entrepreneurial business that specializes in producing Green fashionable textiles and related products made in Kenya that are made using natural and recycled fibers and environmentally friendly techniques that preserve traditional skills and knowledge.
Tosheka was started by Philadelphia-based husband and wife partners, Herman and Lucy Bigham. They have established collaboration with Nakumatt Stores, the largest retailer in East Africa, for Nakumatt to conduct a recycling program to collect plastic bags and purchase the unique, handcrafted, durable, fashionable bags and household goods that Tosheka’s producers make from the recycled plastic bags. Currently, employ over one hundred producers in Kenya and are working with a marketing consultant and Drexel University on new promotional materials.
This innovative project is intended to raise the consciousness, demonstrate the benefits, promote the participation of the masses in recycling and provide sustainable income to hundreds of people in need. This venture will also help rid the community of this polluting health hazard and reduces the environmental impact of every single shopping trip.
Tosheka has also attracted notice by contributing to the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of universities and major retailers. They plan to utilize their replicable business model to expand production and sale into Western markets and build a textile production plant in Kenya.
Tosheka has received seed funding from The Untours Foundation and they are currently seeking full project funding. The future of Tosheka includes adding new products to draw in more new customers. The April USA product launches will include computer, pad and messenger bags. In addition to the consulting support from the Wharton SBDC, Tosheka has also received student support from Drexel, Columbia and Philadelphia University.
Funding support and resources are provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community and Economic Development; through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration, and through support from The University of Pennsylvania. All services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Special arrangements for persons with disabilities can be made by calling 215.898.4861. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. SBDC services are not available to individuals or entities that have been debarred or suspended by the federal government. By agreeing to receive assistance from the SBDC you are self-certifying that you are not currently federally debarred or suspended and also agree to cease using SBDC services if you become federally debarred or suspended in the future.