An additional two kilometers of leftover TENDON climbing ropes of various types were handed over in January by Bolatice-based LANEX to the Zaffra Sheltered Workshop in Staré Město. It produces small, original accessories designed mainly for climbers. This was the first delivery this year, but their cooperation is now entering its second year in a row, with Zaffra having received a total of 5 kilometers of ropes.
“Not quite two years ago, LANEX approached us with an offer to take the ropes they had left over from production and find some meaningful use for them, otherwise they would end up in the trash. We really liked this idea because we like new challenges, and this one we took immediately to heart. The vivacious colors of the ropes are really appealing, not to mention the environmental aspect of cooperating with the LANEX. We enthusiastically started thinking of how we could make the most of these leftover ropes. I think the project has been working well for both of us,” said Jana Fajnorová, co-founder and head of the sheltered workshop.
Zaffra has been working with people with altered working abilities since 2015, gaining the status of a sheltered workshop two years later. At present, it combines a sewing workshop, laser and engraving center, and a workshop for producing promotional items. When hiring new employees, it does not look at their possible health limitations, only their desire to integrate into the work process and their ability to perform some kind of activity. It currently employs six people with disabilities, mainly bodily and hearing issues. The degree ranges from people with disabilities to those with the most severe afflictions.
“A product made from leftover climbing ropes is certainly an interesting design piece for the uninitiated, but for many climbing enthusiasts it has a much larger purpose. For them, it is a symbol of their freedom and philosophy of life, a breath of fresh air and nature. Our cooperation with Zaffra thus gives climbers who use Tendon ropes great added value in a small accessory. Not only do they always have a nice reminder of their lifestyle on hand, even when they’re not hanging from rock at that moment, but by buying it, they’re helping someone with a disability, all over the globe,” said Lanex CEO Martin Václavek.
One of the world’s largest makers of climbing ropes, LANEX began supplying Zaffra with leftover TENDON ropes in the spring of 2019. Using LANEX’s designs, Zaffra produces original accessories such as key chains, key rings, bracelets and belts. Other products will be added in the future, for example, a magnesium bag for climbers is currently being developed. Zaffra first irons the round braid of the rope into a flat strip and then processes it to make its products.
“Because we supply our products to ninety countries, accessories from Zaffra travel virtually all over the world, reaching our climbing equipment distributors, as well as climbers and climbing enthusiasts. We also distribute them through our e-shop,” says Monika Godická, a marketer from LANEX.
Zaffra products started selling last year and interest in them has been growing. In 2020, over a thousand items were sent out all over the globe, and already this year LANEX has received more orders. So far, the biggest demand for them is abroad; their progress in the Czech Republic has been slower.
“For individuals with a certain type of disability, work is not just a natural need, but a welcome means of enhancing their social self-confidence and sense of fulfillment. This is the main driving force of our cooperation with a laid-back group of climbers. It lets us in Zaffra feel that what we’re doing makes a lot of sense. The people from LANEX have given us the opportunity to show that health limitations are no obstacle to doing a job really well if it also gives you pleasure,” added Jana Fajnorová.