From rags to bags

The Next Plays


Posted on Oct. 11, 2010. Listed in:


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The beginnings of a funky wallet or handbag can come from the most unusual of sources. Ragbag is a collaboration between an Indian company that delivers raw plastic material, and designers in the Netherlands who conceive, make, and distribute funky bags and wallets to Europe’s young urbanites.

The Indian company Conserve works with more than 60 rag pickers, who collect plastic discarded bags and sell them to the collection centers. Plastic bags are washed, dried and separated by color. The plastic is pressed into thicker and more durable sheets that are cut and sewn to create Ragbag’s signature style.

Ragbag’s designer and director, Siem Haffmans, acknowledges it’s a start: “I don’t think we can save the world by recycling some plastics. But you can begin and cooperate. The story makes people think.”

The project is already creating jobs for more than 60 ragpickers, people at collection centers and fabricators in New Delhi. Conserve pays collectors and manufacturers livable wages (by Indian standards) while European customers see their purchase as a positive contribution to a better way of doing things.

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For the full case study, visit the NextPlay website 

Watch the story below.


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Written in November 2012

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