Lynn Worsley from All Women Recycling is passionate about plastic recycling and has worked in this field for over 10 years winning many awards for her gift bottles. Wendren Setzer, from Wren specialises in stitching paper using a unique process that makes it durable and water resistant.
The plastic based fabric used for the flap, corner patches and straps 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 to line the backpack 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 colddrink bottles are recycled. Polyester is also easily recyclable.
For All Women Recycling, this process has served to emphasise 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.
Features of the Backpack:
- Two layers of reclaimed screen-printed cement paper with is fused to thick cotton twill fabric
- Polipet front flap and corner patches
- Hidden top zip closure
- Adjustable Polipet straps reinforced with metal rivets
- Secure front press stud closure
- Lined with Stitchbond
- Coated with Nano liquid glass