GROWbag – Upcycled Billboard Gardening

I presume, if you’re reading this, that you love things that have been carefully thought through, that are creative, unique, sustainable, and involve something green. Well then great. Prepare to fall in love with my favourite new ‘green’ product – the GROWbag.

The GROWbag is a homegrown idea that came from European-born now-living-in-South Africa founder, Manuela, after her extensive research into sustainable products. The opportunity arose from having access to old billboard advertising vinyl and meeting skilled people who could recreate this material into products, those being planters. Being European and having lived in an urban environment all her life (with limited space for growing plants) her desire is to make the creation of urban gardens easy for everyone. She has essentially, miraculously combined the worlds of recycling, teaching sustainable living, job-creating, plant-growing, NPO-supporting and creativity in one simple product – the GROWbag. You’re in love already aren’t you?

What is a GROWbag?

A GROWbag is a unique outdoor planter that serves only one purpose: to fit into ones life and any living space. Old billboard vinyl material that would normally be thrown away is converted into an unique range of planters – using old and seemingly worthless material to create new life by growing plants in it. Yay. This vinyl is highly durable and incredibly long lasting – which makes it the perfect material for GROWbags. Each GROWbag is handmade in Cape Town by skilled creators who pride themselves with quality work and ethics.

The GROWbag planters are 100% recycled and made using only two materials: old billboard vinyl/PVC and special wax coated polyester thread. Each planter is one of a kind in colour – the vinyl print on the outside of the bag is carefully selected, so that it creates an interesting story. You’ll never know if your planter was once a MTN, Levi’s, DA or Converse billboard advert flying high over a South African highway. Particular parts of the bag have been reinforced to ensure top quality. All bags have been rigorously tested in order to make these outdoor planters durable in all weather conditions as well as to ensure that the perfect growing condition is created for any plant.

Currently there are 5 sizes of GROWbag available (the small and medium planters can hang, and the large and extra large sit on the ground), and there are also wall pockets which can be used to create a vertical garden. GROWbag has also partnered with Cape Town based NPO, Soil for Life who envisage a green city where all people have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food all year round.

Growbag-Planters-81 NEW

GROWbag-BrownPlanters NEW GROWbag-GreenRange-HR-22 NEW growbag-navybluewhiterange3 NEW GROWbag-PinkRange-LR NEW growbag-snowwhiterange1 NEW Growbag-Wall-Pockets-2 NEW

Together, GROWbag and Soil for Life have created a planter that makes growing one’s own food a simple and effective solution for all the participants of the Soil for Life programme. With every GROWbag that is purchased, you help fund a GROWbag for a family in the communities in which Soil For Life is active. How RAD!

What I love most about these GROWbags is that they are rustic, a little scuffed and quite retro. They are one of a kind products, created carefully and intentionally. And when you peer past the bag itself, you’ll see a material revived, the unemployed employed, and community learning to grow their own food, live sustainably, and feed their families.

4 thoughts on “GROWbag – Upcycled Billboard Gardening

  1. Hi Manuella,

    I have access to 50 billboards that I would like to make into medium sized pots.
    Could you please let me know a cost for this?

    Many Thanks,


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