Triple Shine Detergent: Refill Micro franchises Combat Unemployment in Rural South Africa


Born out of a desire to provide business opportunities to the micro-entrepreneurs and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional single-use packaging, Triple Shine has been formed as an South African registered Pty Ltd. The company has been founded by Sharon Rapetswa. The company exists to distribute environmentally friendly cleaning supplies through a social impact, sustainable business model and efficient, environmentally friendly refill distribution system. The idea of Triple Shine all started when Sharon Rapetswa, A mother of Triplets, who grew up in a rural area called Indermark in South Africa got retrenched during her maternity leave period when she had her triplets in 2015.
Sharon studied Entrepreneurship and business management in College and her passion for the development of people and the community was all she had after retrenchment, which encouraged her to look for a unique social business idea that will benefit unemployed people in the rural area where she lived. Sharon knew that people in rural areas love to save and they still do a lot on informal trading and still buy refill Paraffin for fuel, and refill Milk, therefore having realized that culture and wanting to do something for youth and women who were unemployed or needed extra income ideas to feed their children like herself in her rural community She thought why can’t we also buy our monthly cleaning detergents through refill option as well and make money for ourselves and save money for consumers and that was when she founded Triple Shine Refill Detergent Micro-franchises.
Sharon realized that most people in rural South African areas like herself are unemployed and there is no waste removal services in rural areas, leaving a lot of plastic bottles lying around at dumpsites and people’s homes. An average family uses 4 Plastic bottled detergents a month, amounting to 48 plastic bottles disposed within their households per year. What if only 4 recyclable eco-friendly bottles could be reused and be refilled 12 times a year? Then plastic bottle waste will be reduced by 44 bottles a year by only one family and the price of detergents will also be reduced cutting out the cost of packaging from the cost price of the detergent. 

Your products and services :

Triple Shine’s Solution is to produce Refill cleaning detergents for selling to rural micro-franchisees to resell to consumers refilling their household cleaning products, such as hand soap, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner and bleach. To recycle their plastic bottles customers can also use their own containers instead of Triple Shine Refill Bottles that have a return for deposit policy as well as a refill policy on its plastic bottles in order to encourage people to not dispose the plastic bottles. Triple Shine aims to address the issue of unemployment by hiring people in rural and township areas to become reselling agents and earn an income from sales. Refilling Stations will work in rural areas because already have a culture of buying refill paraffin, Milk and Achaar (Pickle). Refill is cheaper and a better option.

Your success factors

Our success factors is to distribute only quality, environmentally friendly products, secondly to recruit new people within targeted areas to assist in the sales of the products within their communities and lastly to build the company on a solid basis of integrity.

Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing

Triple Shine uses a grassroot marketing approach to the sale of these products. A grassroots networking based approach where products are sold direct from an individual (Reseller/reseller) to the end consumer. The Reseller receives the products from Triple Shine Regional Distributor who buys direct from the manufacturer (Triple Shine).The grassroot marketing system in essence leverages people’s relationships and community networking skills. It creates the ability to be your own boss, making sales daily to the community on your time schedule. It creates a common man, grassroots implementation of a real world distribution channel.

This arrangement differs significantly from pyramid schemes which are illegal in South Africa. A pyramid scheme is a system where individuals sell products and get commissions from the recruitment of new people to also sell the products. The more people they recruit, the more money they make. Pyramid schemes are illegal and are broken up when they are found to exist. 

Your business model (how do you make money?)

Though Triple Shine will initially source its products from a private label manufacturer the plan is to be sustainable through manufacturing its own products in order to own the supply chain and gain control of quality and pricing. This is an efficient and effective distribution model where the products Triple Shine self manufactures the products ensuring the highest quality and low prices. They are then sold direct to the appointed regional distributors who recruit and supply to their region’s micro-franchisees. The traditional bureaucratic distribution model with huge corporate profits is eliminated.

A few words about your competitors

Triple Shine does not see detergent manufacturers currently in play as a threat, because Triple shine sees itself as being in the business of selling micro-franchises using an already existing successful product to achieve their goal of selling a working business idea that will continue to create revenue for the unemployed people. Triple shine identifies Avon, Amway, Tupperware and Forever Living products as their direct competitors but it is confident that it also has its own unique place in the market alongside the competition, because Triple Shine can work with the same customer of their competitors even when the competitor is present, Triple Shine in fact sees itself as a complementor to its rivals more than a competitor.

To learn more about you (website, twitter, video presentation…)

To learn more about us go to

Follow us on twitter @TripleShineSA

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