Finding and developing alternative, environmentally conscious materials is a key interest of both Wren and All Women Recycling, and one of the reasons this collaboration came about in the first place.
Adding the value of partnerships and collaborations, this World Changer range was developed as the products are unique in the combination of sustainable materials and the development of practical and durable products.
Lynn Worsley, of All Women Recycling, launched her business 15 years ago. She has won many awards for the gift boxes she designed and manufactured from discarded plastic bottles. She has always had an interest in plastic recycling – together with creating economic and ecological change for the better!
Wendren Setzer, of Wren, is passionate about working with paper and shares the same goals as Lynn to create a a positive difference in the lives of others without harming the environment.
With these shared goals Wendren & Lynn came together to create a range of products that combine plastic-made-fabric and Wren’s reclaimed cement paper.
MORE ABOUT THE MATERIALS
The plastic based fabric used on the outside in the collaboration is called Polipet. Two local South African companies work together to use a recycled based plastic fibre (polyethylene terephthalate chips) that they make into a polyester fibre, similar to felt. 50 plastic bottle make one linear meter and no water or electricity is used in the manufacturing of either process, making the material sustainable and ecologically sound. Apart from keeping plastic bottles out of landfills and the ocean, the recycling of plastic also helps to create job opportunities as a source of income for informal collectors.
The plastic based fabric used on the inside of most of the products is called Stitch Bond. This fabric is a non woven 100% polyester fabric that is manufactured locally in Cape Town. The bulk of this product is part of a national recycling project where empty water and colldrink bottles are recycled. Polyester is easily recyclable.
For All Women Recycling, this process has served to emphasize that alternative, sustainable textile production is possible and that we do not always have to rely on expensive, carbon intense, fabric or materials from other countries.
The paper that Wren is known best for is the same paper used to make cement packaging bag. This paper is collected as unusable paper rolls from printing factories in South Africa. This special paper is fused to fabric to make it stitchable and strong, and is coated with nano liquid glass (an environmentally friendly coating) to make it water resistant.
For Wren the process of taking an everyday material and challenging its perceived use and value is exciting.