A woman in Assam, India weaves plastic waste to make handbags and doormats

A native of the Kaziranga region in the Indian state of Assam collects plastic waste there from the national park and weaves it in traditional looms to make handbags, doormats, placemats and d other furnishing products. Rupjyoti Saikia Gogoi, 47, has also trained thousands of women in waste recycling, which has helped them earn a living.

She started the business, Village Weaves, in 2004 when the sight of plastic litter around the lanes of her house became ominous, according to a report by the website ‘The Better India’.

Shen then tried to weave it like she would bamboo. Using simple techniques, she integrated plastic with cotton threads to weave different products on a primitive hand loom.

A native of the Kaziranga region in the Indian state of Assam collects plastic waste from the national park there and weaves it in traditional looms to make handbags, doormats, playmats tables and other furnishing products. Rupjyoti Saikia Gogoi, 47, has also trained thousands of women in waste recycling, which has helped them earn a living.

Rupjyoti and a few other women started picking up discarded plastic sheeting in the alleys surrounding their neighborhood. The waste was carefully washed and dried. The bags were then cut into strips using a pair of scissors and hand tied end to end to form a long thread.

The cotton thread is woven in the vertical direction on a traditional hand loom and the horizontal weaves are made using the plastic thread.

In 2012, Rupjyoti established an outlet named Kaziranga Haat, where products were displayed for tourists to browse before purchasing.

This plastic weaving method is now used in 35 villages in the state and more than 2,000 women have been trained.

Fibre2Fashion (DS) News Desk

Bryce K. Locke