Designers Wanted: Make a difference for poor communities!

By Johannes Loh, on April 12th, 2012

Where do you think this bag was designed? Have you seen it in one of the boutiques along Singapore’s famous shopping street Orchard Road? Do you wish you owned such a bag or you would love to be involved in designing a product line like this? Then read on:

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This bag was designed and produced in the Philippines and is made entirely from recycled products. In fact it was produced by women from a trashpicker community from the former Smokey Mountain site in Tondo, Metro Manila (see further below for a picture of their livelihood). It is made from 1,000+ can lids in intricate craftsmanship and the proceeds directly benefit poor families (they earn a regular income for the production) as well as the work of the responsible charity, the Philippine Christian Foundation (PCF). In Paradise Heights (former Smokey Mountain) PCF runs a school for the trashpickers’ children.

What started as an experiment during an art lesson in PCF’s school, has become an income-generating activity for the children’s mothers. Their jewelry and other fashion products, cleverly made 100% from recycled materials from the nearby dumpsite, has become famous enough to attract the attention of national retailers. Very soon SM Supermarkets will sell a jewelry product line in stores all over the country. The increasing demand will require PCF to keep innovating and develop many more original designs. They are looking for aspiring designers willing to volunteer their creativity and time for a few weeks to develop new designs.

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The raw material next to the final products

Do you want to make a name for yourself and contribute to a good cause with your creativity? Contact us and we will connect you to PCF for further details.

Watch out for further updates from our field visit in Manila in the coming weeks.

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These are the settlements where the nanays who produce the jewelry live.

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