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 Tote 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.
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 Tote Bag:
- Polipet body
- Top zip closure
- Polipet & paper straps
- Paper & cotton front pocket and corner patches
- Coated with Nano liquid glass