Upcycled for a Cause: Kustawi Handbags

Kustawi ProjectIn Swahili, the language spoken in Kenya, Kustawi means, “to thrive”.  KUSTAWI is a line of handbags made from hand rolled paper beads which are skillfully created by the students in Right 2 Thrive’s Empowerment Program.

The paper beads are made from readily available recycled paper products such as, magazines, posters and calendars.  The class and materials are offered to the students for free, providing community members an opportunity to learn a skill. Students are paid a fair wage for their product, enabling them to earn money to support themselves and their families.

KUSTAWI bags are currently on display in the RJM showroom in New York City.  See more on Facebook.


Paper Bag Floors

Paper Bag FloorInstead of creating a fire hazard by stuffing your grocery bags between your fridge and your counter, why not throw down a new floor in your house, instead?

Look this up at Recyclart.com.  (Try not to get sucked in to the gloriousness of that site so long that you alert your superiors at work.  I don’t want that guilt hanging over my head.)

Upcycled For A Cause: Coke Earrings

Coke EaringsOn many mornings in Aqaba, ladies could be singing, laughing, talking, and drinking tea while creating unique hand made items…from trash. The passer by would never imagine the path these ladies have taken to get to the center each day- divorced, orphaned, widowed, or married to a man who already has many wives, many struggling to pay for basic needs. Amidst the rubble, these ladies arrive with dignity each day, empowered to craft items to provide for the needs of themselves and their family.

Green Creations started in December of 2009 as a World Associates project to train individuals to use recycled materials to create income generating products such as beads, jewelry, bags, bowls, purses, baskets and more.  These items are marketed and sold to the tourist market in Aqaba and in a variety of venues in the United States.

Read more at greencreations