By: Supriya Sivabalan and Mohamad Raihan bin Baalwi
On your way to work, or when you walk around your university campus, streets, on highway billboards and even in schools! - you would have surely noticed advertisements of all sorts placed all over. These adverts typically look similar in terms of the banner used. Ever stopped to wonder where they go after the period of advertising is over? Where does that huge piece of material get tossed to? Well, where else but our mountainous landfills, of course!
The tarpaulin material up close
With its strong, water-resistant and flexible features, the Tarpaulin banners hold lots of potential. Biji Biji put their thinking cap on. Why let such durable material go to such a dump? After some brainstorming, we came up with the idea to produce banner products. If our banner products intrigue you, they are available online for general purchase. Besides that, we also produce made-to-order items using the material. Below are some of the Biji Biji products that have brought new life to the old banners that were brought in.
The Azalea Pouch- perfect for your little coins, keys and a tiny notebook!
The Merak Tote Bag - designed in just the right size for your every day needs!
Where do we get Tarpaulin Banners?
As of now, we publicly source our banners on a contribution basis and also collaborate with corporations to upcycle their post-event banners into totes, bags, pouches - you name it! Biji Biji has actually signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS). Basically, banners being created and used by at conferences organized by MACEOS will be sent to us for upcycling instead of mindlessly being tossed away into the dumpsters and contributing more damage to our ever-growing landfills.
Transforming single-use material into multi-functional products - Biji Biji has, in a way, reinvented the use of these banners as well as revolutionized the common practice of disposing of them.
Why Tarpaulin Banners?
There’s a certain rationale as to why tarpaulin banners are a typical go-to for advertisements - and it’s the same reasons we upcycle them. It’s highly-resistant material can withstand rain, heat, strong winds, and has a beautiful shiny finish to it. Perfect for upcycling! Plus, since there’s always an abundance of these banners used all around us, it’s the perfect material to upcycle, and can make a relatively significant and positive impact toward the waste it creates.
So, We Take Your Banners, Then What?
In order to reach our end-product, we ensure the banners used are cleaned. When cleaning the banner, we wipe it down with a soft, damp, nonabrasive cloth. A solution of water and mild, odourless soaps is used to clean the banners. All soap is wiped off the banner and left to dry before storing it for future use.
Following a thorough discussion with our clients regarding the type of product they want to be produced from the Tarpaulin Banners, we will get straight to work. First, we pick out the best banners from our stored materials. We then cut out the banner following text, picture, design and colour- and sort it out accordingly. Our master tailor, Ashfaq, then places the best pieces together and stitches them out beautifully. Alas! Your banners are now unrecognisable as they transform into statement fashion pieces.
The Iris Folder- trippy at first sight, suitable for vamping up your work/school items!