We’ve already shared two stories about things that can be recycled into handmade goods, but we’re not there yet. There are way more Discovered artisans who work with recycled materials and have inspirational stories to share. In this week’s blog we will tell the story of Biji-Biji.
Biji-biji is an ethical fashion label, birthed by the sustainable design collective Biji-biji Initiative. The ambition of the brand is to inspire people to think about sustainable living and they do this in a very original way! They make bags from PVC banners and rejected seatbelts, combined with locally crafted batik fabric. The combination of these materials makes their bags both cool and elegant.
Biji-Biji started making bags when they received a request from company to make 1000 bags from their own PVC banners. “That’s when we discovered it was possible to provide a more ethical and green alternative to mass consumption”, explains Norashahera, head of sustainable fashion at Biji-Biji. After this order they started to think about other materials that could be recycled into unique bags. The department grow and Biji-Biji was born.
The bags of Biji-Biji are all made from recycled materials. In some designs they are combined with other local materials, like batik fabric. One of the main materials Biji-Biji uses are rejected seatbelts that didn’t pass quality controls. “If we didn’t use them, the seatbelts would end up in the landfill”. The seatbelts are sourced directly from local factories, where they are bought in bulk. Before they can be used, the seatbelts are sorted out, cleaned up, ironed and assembled by our tailors. After this process they are transformed into unique bags.
Biji-Biji still uses old banners, the material with which it all started. In addition, they work with recycled felt. These materials are provided by events managers they’ve partnered with. “Banners and felt offer a much wider range of colour and are perfect for small accessories such as pouches, pencil case or wallets”. They truly add some color to the designs!
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