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Consol Solar Jars Manufactured


Proud manufacturers of the
Consol Solar Jar™
www.solar-jar.co.za

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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The Suntoy team is excited to be partnering with Kaya FM 95.9 in their #LightUpALife campaign. This Kaya Cares event is a Mandela Day initiative. Lighting up a life, one child at a time, is imperative to creating a future absent of darkness and shining with brightness. A Solar Jar is a gift worth giving.

Suntoy has donated 192 Solar Jars. The M’Khaya team has distributed the Solar Jars to child headed households at Othandweni Childrens Home in Soweto and Rays of Hope Orphanage in Alexandria, Gauteng. The campaign was launched on the Bob Mabena morning show in preparation for rollout.

In Jozi city, our lives revolve around the daunting load-shedding schedule. At Suntoy, we are off-grid and production continues regardless of stages one to three. We’re one of the lucky ones.

For many children though, there are no load shedding stages… simply darkness… every night. More than 1.4million South Africans live without electricity in informal settlements across our country. Scholars aren’t able to complete their homework or study in the dark. A solar powered reading light charges in the sun during the day and welcomes the children home at sunset. No electricity or candles needed. An unplugged light source - similar to KayaFM's unplugged live studio sessions featuring South African musicians.

Join us, M'Khaya. Do your part! #LightUpALife

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." ~ Nelson Mandela

Please note: Faces of orphans in photographs have been blurred to protect identities. The Kaya FM team shared these two photos. 

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Approximately 40,000 visitors attended the Bio Marché fair in Zofingen, Switzerland. This event is one of the biggest organic trade fairs in Europe and took place over three days in June.

Sonnenglas exhibited at Bio Marché, for the second year in a row, showcasing the Solar Jar . This South African handmade light shone amidst an array of diverse international products. The exhibition stand was made of recycled wooden crates and hessian table cloths, styled with fresh flowers. Each Solar Jar contained a different decor item. Printed info cards with the Suntoy team photos were on display.
 
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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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The wire used in the assemblage of the Solar Jar  is 90% recycled. Suntoy procures it from Cape Gate where post consumer scrap metal is collected, sorted and refined. All raw materials are of South African origin and the smelting, rolling and wire manufacturing process is done locally.

By recycling wire, a lesser quantity of new material is required during the wire-making process and the amount of discarded metal dumped into landfills is reduced. By consciously choosing 'green wire' and upcycling it into the bracing and handle of the Solar Jar , our product is made that much more environmentally friendly.

Read about our team of Suntoy wire artisans here.

"Thanks for the interesting tour of your operation. It is good to see where our wire products are used and the end product." - Derek Erxleben, Head Metallurgy, Cape Gate

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Posted by on in Outreach

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Partner Products can bring innovative products to market effectively. The Solar Jar  is solidly established in consumers eyes and is well positioned to assist in bringing a newer, less known partner product to market.

The Solar Jar ™ is now offered bundled with a partner product, the Repurpose Schoolbag. It's a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit. Made from upcycled plastic shopping bags, the Repurpose Schoolbag has a pocket that integrates the lid of the Solar Jar .

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During the day, while scholars walk to school with the schoolbag strapped to their backs, the solar panel charges in the sun. At night, the lid is screwed onto the Consol glass jar and transforms into a solar powered reading light to study by. The schoolbag gives the solar panel an alternative mode of charging instead of remaining on a window cill by day.

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Suntoys priority is to supply solar lights to children living off-grid in informal settlements. Our team now has an additional outlet with Repurpose Schoolbags to increase our reach. It's a collaboration to achieve shared goals. 

Rethaka, the company that produces the schoolbags, connects with Giving Partners, such as Consol, to fund the making, distribution and coupling with Solar Jar .  "Reimagining how solar energy can become easily accessible to those who need it the most, is what was at the heart of the integration of the solar light with our schoolbags,” said Thato Kgatlhanya of Rethaka.

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 As partners, we were all excited when Bill Gates mentioned the solar pocketed schoolbags on Twitter.

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Hoteliers are adopting green building measures to accommodate tourists wanting to lessen their environmental impact while globetrotting. Hotel Verde in Cape Town offers a carbon-neutral stay. It doesn’t just observe one earth friendly hour a year but celebrates its greenness 365 days per annum.

The staff is enthusiastic about sustainability, trained in energy efficiency methods and passionate about the Solar Jar . Every Wednesday, they invite guests to join them for energy conservation awareness evenings. All unnecessary lights are switched off and solar lights are switched on. Diners enjoy live acoustic music and a specially prepared menu including pizza baked in a wood fired oven. Visitors are amazed when reminded that they’re at an airport hotel.

In March, Hotel Verde hosted Earth Hour. The event was wonderfully received with a prize of a Solar Jar ™.  Our partners, Sonnenglas, joined the eve of solar light and snapped these photos.

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Two lights-OFF events are presently on our calendars. The first, loadshedding, has everyone complaining, "Ah no, not again." The second, Earth Hour, has everyone agreeing, "Yes, let's!" If every loadshedding hour included the positivity of an Earth Hour, there'd be a happy public relations feat instead of a collective grumpy sigh.

Earth Hour 2015 occurs in the midst of the urgent need to find solutions to our current energy crisis in South Africa. Every South African is attuned to the critical state of our national power grid. Sunshine is abundantly available and renewable solar energy lightens our national power supplier’s load.

Suntoy invites you all to create your own solar-lit celebration with the Consol Solar Jar, harmoniously off-grid and lights-ON (even while the worlds lights are off!). Join us in adding to the solar generated brightness of an eve at home, in your garden or with friends at a party this Saturday, 28 March, during Earth Hour from 20:30 to 21:30.

Suntoy promises to give our planet a brighter future by making every hour a solar-power-hour.

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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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In order to flourish in our current South African economy, creative brand leadership is imperative for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) such as Suntoy. An innovative business model with strong social responsibilities drives our brand.

Being a manufacturer, we don’t have a direct link to the end-user as our resellers do. To create awareness, our brand building and cultural movement strategies have had to spark interest unconventionally by engaging content ideas through storytelling. At Suntoy, we've introduced our team, our values and culture, the context of our products, our significance as a vehicle for education, job creation and renewable energy solutions through the telling of stories. Our stories tell more than an online product catalogue ever could.

With each tale told, our brand is further established. Our blog not only holds our stories, but the experiences of our customers too. Stories have strengthened our tribe, furthered our reach and enabled us to build a smart, authentic and valued brand with prospective future forecasts beyond the products we assemble. Our customers continue to purchase our brand and buy our story - not just our product. That's essential to Suntoy's livelihood.

Three challenging yet exciting years of strategic thought have enhanced our brand equity. With this solid grounding firmly established, our brand is credibly differentiated and experienced. Suntoy, the sunniest team of solar enthusiasts, is ready to launch our next chapter. Keep your eyes peeled. That's what having fun in the South African sun is all about!

 

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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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Tourists visiting South Africa often return home to global destinations with beaded wire artefacts: from tiny mementoes, such as key rings, to tall sculptures of giraffes. Wire and bead artisans, creating in various gauges and colours with few tools but their own hands, are common sightings on our Jozi street corners. They may have good sales one month and none the next. Income varies, yet many tenaciously continue, their need for a job pushing them to become entrepreneurs.

One such wire artist stands out from the rest. Maxwell Jaravazo is driven to create the extraordinary from a piece of wire and a handful of beads. His imagination spans beyond the Melville street corner where he used to trade from. Max crafts magic within his hands. For many years, Harald Schulz passed him on the street and they struck up a friendship. When the very first Consol Solar Jar needed a wire handle and bracing, Max was Harald’s first choice as fellow designer. Together, they made the prototype in January 2011 while sitting on the pavement of 7th Street in Melville.

As demand grew, Suntoy grew… and so did Max. Suntoy permanently employed him three years ago. As a significant member of our team, he has job security and a steady monthly income. He was promoted to Factory Supervisor and now trains and overseas a team of 12 fellow wire artisans. These men are now all under one roof from multiple street corners across our city. That's job creation, the South African way.

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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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Suntoy advocates for responsible social and environmental standards in the manufacture of all our products. Our team has adopted goals similar to Fair Trade ideals to insure honorable working conditions and promote sustainability within our company. We are transparent about the working conditions of all our employees and promote respect and meaningful dialogue.

The Consol Solar Jar is a responsibly and fairly produced solar light handmade in our factory in Johannesburg, South Africa. Suntoy employs 44 adult South Africans from the Alexandra and Soweto townships in Gauteng. They have been trained in photovoltaic theory with overall skills upliftment. As a team they have made, to date, ¾ of a million units (750k).

We thereby promote greater equity in our international trading partnership with Sonnenglas, our European distributor. Sonnenglas is supportive of the jobs created in South Africa.

As a joint venture with Consol, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices are Suntoy’s focuses. Our team has made a conscious decision to adopt Common Shared Value, a philosophy that has made our company culture fair.

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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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This March marks two years since the first export crate of Consol Solar Jars journeyed to our partners, Sonnenglas, in Europe. Our South African handmade product embarked on an epic travel adventure. From snowy Berlin to the sunny beaches of Mallorca, the Consol Solar Jar has lit multiple experiences with renewable energy: birthdays, camping trips, barbeques and weddings.

We’re glad our solar light has pride of place with customers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Croatia and Greece. Wow! That’s an accomplished expedition for a tiny three-year-old product from the southern tip of Africa.

The Consol Solar Jar has won many European friends and fans and is truly well travelled considering it has also climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, dived 20m deep at Sodwana Bay and partied across Jozi.

With a clink of our glasses and a huge cheer, the Suntoy and Sonnenglas teams celebrate its two-year travel-versary! Here’s to bottled South African sunshine! Bottles Up!

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