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.
Funky Junk Recycled is an innovative social enterprise based in Cambodia – making beautiful, functional, long-lasting items from used plastic bags reclaimed from streets and fields.
Hipcycle.com, the leading purveyor of upcycled products on the web, is partnering with Funky Junk to enter the North American market. The project is utilizing crowd-sourced fundraising through indiegogo.com to raise $20,000 for a new e-commerce website and increased capacity at the Funky Junk Center in Cambodia. Hipcycle has also partnered with the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation to pack and ship Funky Junk orders.
Funky Junk Recycled aims to provide sustainable income for a group of local people without a major investment in technology, equipment, or capacity building. By creating a self-sustaining enterprise, they use best business practices as a means of improving peoples’ living environment, while helping them to gain a source of income and a sense of self-worth.
All products are made from discarded plastic bags, collected by trash pickers from the towns and countryside, and delivered to the Funky Junk center. Here they are washed, disinfected and dried in the sun before being sorted by color. The bags are cut and made into yarn, which is then crocheted into a product line ranging from floor cushions to handbags to patio chairs. Supporting Funky Junk means contributing to a cleaner environment and providing fair trade income, training and community benefits for its local producers.
Learn more about this program and watch the video here.