The Blog


Old Girl, Cath Kassier’s Waste-free Market

We love hearing from our Old Girls, so we were thrilled when Cathryn Kassier, from the Class of 2013, contacted us to share her news about her new exciting eco-adventure.  Market in the Midlands is South Africa’s first waste-free market and is a space that brings together the best waste-free artisans and crafters that the Midlands has to offer.

Since leaving St John’s D.S.G. Cathryn went to study in Stellenbosch, completing her Bachelor of Arts Undergrad degree, majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science. After her studies, her parents approached her to assist them with their Wine Farm, Highgate Wine Farm (next door to Piggly Wiggly in the Midlands) and, in particular, run and manage the Tasting Room. In order to gain some experience in the wine industry, Cathryn went to Ernie Els Wines for a few months before moving back to assist with the family business. It must have been fate, as while she was there, she met her now fiancé. Cathryn has been back in the Midlands for just over a year.

When asked what started her passion for environmental causes Cathryn said, “The first spark I experienced was in my first year at University when a friend of mine shared an article about animal testing for cosmetics on Facebook and from there I researched the topic more, which lead me on to the animal agriculture industry. Then the plastic waste crisis really hit home last year. When I think about our children and grandchildren having to live through the consequences of climate change, I will feel reassured that I did everything I could to prevent it and that I did everything in my power to create something better for them; I didn’t sit back and think someone else would fix it.”

The waste-free market idea came to Cathryn when she was out shopping one day and realised how extremely difficult it was to buy products that are not wrapped in loads of plastic. Cathryn adds, “I wanted to create a space where people could shop ‘guilt-free’ and not have to worry about saying no to plastic, as well as making environmentally friendly products as easy as possible to obtain. I was lucky enough to have a beautiful space to create a market at Highgate and so the idea of a waste-free market started to take shape. I was approached by a woman who was eager to do something similar, so instead of competing with one another, we teamed up!”

Cathryn concluded by saying that she will always cherish her years at St John’s D.S.G. as it was a time in her life where girls learnt to be strong, independent and kind women. She concludes, “Some of my best friends are from school and I know they will have my back no matter what. We will always be there for each other.”

If you are around the Midlands area on Saturday evening, please join Cathryn for the 5thinstalment of their fantastic waste-free market. You can enjoy the guilt-free pleasure of eco-shopping, as well as feast on the many irresistible, healthy and responsibly sourced eats – and some good wine to top it off!


  1. Sue Carlson Aug 29, 2019

    I am a St Johns old girl many year ago
    What do you sell at your market
    I make unique vintage style little girls clothing
    Made with pure cottons and lace.
    Sue -Anna label
    I would be interested in exhibiting

    • ST JOHN'S D.S.G. Aug 30, 2019

      HI Sue – we will pass on your details to Cath and ask her to be in touch. Thanks and all the best x


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