Friday, May 11, 2012

Plastic Bags Upcycled into Wearable Art

Plastic Bags Upcycled into Wearable Art

A look at FunkyJunk braided bags, made from cleaned plastic bags found on Cambodian streets. Photo: FunkyJunk

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, especially when that trash is braided into upcycled hats, bags and more.

That’s the idea behind FunkyJunk, a company that turns plastic bags that litter Cambodian streets into wearable works of art. The company employs local community groups to create the “junk,” who are capable of self-managing their own FunkyJunk enterprise.
Related: Tips on Recycling Plastic

“In developing countries, where garbage collection services are minimal and environmental awareness takes second place to basic survival, plastic bags are everywhere: clogging drains, choking animals, and blighting already difficult lives,” the company says on its website. “By creating a self-sustaining enterprise, they use business best practices as a means of improving peoples’ living environment, while helping them to gain a source of income and a sense of self-worth.”

Now, FunkyJunk is looking to expand its reclaimed plastic bag accessories to the U.S. and it needs your help.

Pairing with Hipcycle, an online retailer focused on upcycled products, FunkyJunk recently launched an campaign to raise $20,000 to launch the eco-friendly line in North America, a massive market to conquer for any retailer.

The goal is to provide a source of income to the people of Cambodia without the costly upstart expenses of factories, technology and equipment so that the makers of the products see the economic benefits of their work even faster, according to the company.

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