And here’s yet another example of a waste stream that has been diverted in a way that serves not only function, but also form.
In Cambodia, thousands of plastic bags that carry rice, fish food or other commodities pile up in trash heaps. Gecko Traders has started recycling these bags into fashion accessories that have a market in Western countries. And even better... Gecko is built around fair trade principles of offering wages and good working conditions to disabled and disadvantaged women who are victims of landmine detonations or wartime displacement. Find them in Chattanooga at Canvas Canoe.
Like Anj’s post below... and like our SIM print carpet samples... these are things that have come into existence because someone refused to accept greywater from sinks, or plastic trash, or starving refugees as necessary evils. Sometimes it takes a second look to see these things in a different light. There are examples all around us: I was chatting with Ben Horner, our design director, the other day and he asked me: “What if it were a rule that anyone who went shoe shopping had to go barefoot?” That’s an even better solution than recycled content shoeboxes.
We should push toward a greater day when poverty is no more, and when thousands of bare feet are seen walking down Madison Ave. But in the meantime, by taking a second look, maybe we’ll find good ways to give waste a second life.