The feeling of responsibility towards serving our society and environment, gave us the motivation to solve a major problem in Egypt; Waste.
We started to deal with waste as a raw material trying to transform its negative impact into a more positive one.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Plastex is a 100% ecofriendly handmade fabric that translates the need for environmental sustainability. It is made from reused plastic bags and recycled cotton threads. Plastic bags are collected, sterilized and cut into thin stripes that are interwoven on a handloom. The fabric is strong, durable, water-resistant and can tolerate sun rays. Designed to raise environmental awareness, revive the weaving craft by empowering local communities, and support the sustainable change in our world today.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The focus of innovation lies in transforming discarded wasted plastic bags into a new raw material that has environmental and economical benefits, through using feasible manufacturing techniques. And at the same time, raising environmental awareness and reviving a traditional old craft.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The Project started in February 2012 in Cairo, Egypt, and still in a continuous development, and was exhibited in Furnex in November 2012, and in Salone del Mobile in April 2013.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
We took reviving the weaving industry in Egypt as a starting point for addressing an economical issue; through supporting Egyptian craftsmen. When it comes to the feasibility of the production process, highly technological machinery were avoided to ensure a simple sustainable process. Plastic bags are collected, sterilized and cut into thin stripes that are integrated on a manual Handloom. Plastex is 100% handmade, made of 33% recycled cotton threads and 67% reused plastic bags.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Image#2, Chair: Width 430mm X Depth 470mm X Height 870mm.
Image#3, Bag: Diameter 550mm X Height 750mm.
Image#4, Stool: Diameter 350 X Height 450mm.
Reform, Recreate, Reuse, Revive, Eco-design, Sustainability, Plastic Bags, Material, weaving, Ancient Craft
Plastex was a joint project, started from a major problem in Egypt; waste. Based on our field research and observation we found that reusing is much better than recycling, it saves a lot of resources. Thus, we chose plastic bags; it is the second most discarded product in Egypt and is not heavily collected for recycling. Every minute around one million single use plastic bags are given out for free. We focused on reusing plastic bags, prolonging its life cycle before it ends up as litter.
One of our goals was very challenging, whilst aiming to revive the weaving industry in Egypt, we never imagined that the craft has reached such a bad stage; finding workshops that are still loyal to this craft was an obstacle. The automation of the weaving industry affected handmade crafts to an extent that craftsmen would not be able to make a living from it. So we thought of juxtaposing an old technique with a new concept through design to create new products with higher values.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Chief Designer/Founder Mariam Hazem and Chief Designer/Founder Hend Riad
Image #1: Photographer Yasmin Kandil, Plastex Collection, 2013.
Image #2: Photographer Yasmin Kandil, Plastex Collection, 2013.
Image #3: Photographer Yasmin Kandil, Plastex Collection, 2013.
Image #4: Photographer Nora Kahil, Plastex Collection, 2013.
Image #5: Photographer Yasmin Kandil, Plastex Collection, 2013.