By: Supriya Sivabalan
From sustainable event management to sustainable gifting, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is doing the “impossible” through its collaboration with Biji Biji and Biji-biji Initiative by challenging the norms of unsustainable practices at large events. RWMF is one of the biggest international music festivals in the region. Known for its wide range of performances - from traditional music to contemporary world music -, cultural and craft displays, music workshops and traditional food stalls - RWMF also receives high recognition for its commendable efforts in incorporating sustainable elements during the event.
Upcycled Banner Bags With Biji Biji
Partnering with Biji Biji since 2016, RWMF presents one of the most unique gifts you will ever find in a festival to its VIPs. Don’t expect to see the basic glass plaque and glossy paper certificate handed out here as their collaboration with Biji Biji allows them to provide sustainable alternatives as a token of their appreciation to their guest of honours. Seeing as the festival uses tons of Tarpaulin Banners for festival advertising around the compound, Biji Biji offered the ingenious solution to put this material to good use. Thus, this allows RWMF to stay true to its goal of sustainability through this collaboration of producing the banner bags. A big kudos to the RWMF team for making informed decisions as it brings real positive impact to the typical practice of mindless waste-creation during large events like RWMF!
“How do we that?”, you ask. Essentially, the banners that are displayed all over during the festival will be collected by Biji Biji employees and are shipped back to Kuala Lumpur to start production. They are then thoroughly cleaned and left to dry before the tailoring process begins.
Our Master Tailors hard at work with the RWMF Banners!
...to Tote Bags!
After finalizing the preferred bag dimensions, the banners then go through a tedious and intricate sewing process by our Master Tailor, and are magically transformed into sturdy, gorgeous totes - the perfect, quirky piece for a quick shopping trip or a casual outing! Not to mention, the perfect gift for such a fabulous event. Why settle on less?
Simply stunning upcycled totes from the 2017 RWMF banners
Mini details of the RWMF tote to spice up the already interesting banner totes!
Across the past 5 years, an astounding 2500 sqft worth of banners were used to make 1800 bags that were distributed at the festival. 1800 bags, handed out to 1800 people, being utilised instead of adding unnecessary waste to our landfills.
Looking to style an upcycled banner as well? We have products ready for order on our website, eagerly waiting to be a part of your wardrobe. These one-of-a-kind banner products are specially crafted by the Biji Biji Ethical Fashion team, brainchild of Biji-biji Initiative.
Showcasing the Biji Biji seatbelt collection at RWMF 2016!
The Biji-biji Initiative
Apart from upcycled tote bags, the festival also adopts other practices implemented by the Biji-biji Initiative team to ensure a green environment. Since 2017, Biji-biji identified 5 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that can be applied to RWMF.
These goals include;
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12 : Ensure sustainable consumption and production
Goal 17 : Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
Recycling and Food Waste Management
Across the festival grounds, Biji-biji Initiative in collaboration with Trienekens Sdn Bhd, provide green waste stations to boost recycling efforts. Green warriors representing Biji-biji as well as volunteers from local university students were also ready to assist the public with their waste segregation and educate them on the different type of wastes.
All smiles from our excited Biji-biji family!
Briefing the eager volunteers!
So, you think you’re recycling by tossing your garbage into the recycle bins? Think again -According to a study in 2017 by NatGeo, only about 9% of plastic ever made has likely been recycled. Not everything you throw into recycling bins is appropriate for recycling. In fact, there are many different types of plastic and in Malaysia, and only Plastic Type 1 (PET or PETE) , Type 2 (HDPE) and Type 5 (PP) are 99% recyclable. Only 3 out of 7 plastic types! If interested, you can further read about plastic types here!
Here’s a common example that you probably never knew of - Paper cups? The ones with a wax lining actually can’t be recycled! Satay sticks, popsicle sticks, bbq skewers - while they seem feasible to be recycled given their material, nope! Unrecyclable. It really does make you a lot more aware of the realistic amount of waste that can actually be recycled. With our green ambassadors fully knowledgable on this, the public leans so much just by approaching our waste stations!
Proper food waste management!
Apart from that, Biji-biji also contributes to ensuring a sustainable food market is achieved with the many food vendors that set up booths during RWMF. We try to ensure that the vendors adhere to the minimum standards of the Biji-biji Sustainable Events Guideline where we encourage them to source ethical, sustainable and local produce.
In an effort to reduce unnecessary food waste during the festival, sustainable efforts supported by Canard and Infocraft, Biji-biji provided food waste management and cooking oil collection.
Free Water Stations
Free water stations were provided for the first time in RWMF 2019 after the Biji-biji Case Study in 2018. This encouraged festival-goers to avoid single-use plastic bottles as well keep the festival compound litter-free
Public Participation: Matter Out of Place (MOOP)
What is MOOP? It refers to anything that is not originally of the land on which an event takes place! This year, Biji-biji encouraged the public to partake in their green efforts in a 2-hour session whereby interested participants were briefed and educated on waste segregation and helped out in maintaining the cleanliness of the festival grounds whilst live musical performances kept them in the groove.
Learning about proper waste segregation from the Biji-biji counterpart
An astounding 135.60kg worth of recyclables were collected throughout the 3-day event as all the festival-goers and volunteers united to achieve cleaner and greener festival practises! With sustainability incorporated into the RWMF, it truly adds a layer of wholesomeness to the music festival experience as we ensure everyone’s happiness - both of the public and our precious planet!
If you are interested to collaborate with Biji Biji or Biji-biji Initiative for Sustainable Gifts and Sustainable Event Management, do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for further information!
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